By Tom Shine – Kansas News Service
Local and federal authorities continue to investigate a shooting that injured three Wichita police officers.
Police said the officers were investigating a possible break-in at a vacant house about 4 p.m. Saturday. Police said a modified shotgun discharged when officers opened the door and entered the house.
Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Saturday evening that it wasn’t immediately clear whether the house had been booby trapped before officers arrived.
Two of the officers remain hospitalized Sunday, one with minor injuries and the other with serious but non-life threatening injuries, police said. A third officer was treated and released.
Ramsay said on his Twitter account Saturday night that the injured officers’ “spirits are good and appreciate the support they are receiving. We are praying for a speedy recovery.”
The Wichita Police Department/Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and the WPD bomb squad surrounded the house in the 1400 block of South St. Francis after the shooting. They were there for several hours, along with police negotiators, before determining no one was inside the house.
Police said the incident began when a homeowner called 911 to report that they had discovered open windows in a vacant home they owned. They told police they thought someone might be inside.
When officers arrived, they got a key from the homeowner and entered the house. That’s when they were shot.
Early reports indicated the officers were injured in an explosion.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting Wichita police with the investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the department’s Investigations division at 316- 268-4181 or CrimeStoppers at 316-267-2111.