After fighting for life, Wichita officer honored at Wind Surge opener
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Shot multiple times in the line of duty last summer, Wichita Police Department Officer Kyle Mellard continues to inspire through a recovery some describe as “miraculous.” Friday night, Mellard was honored with the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at Riverfront Stadium ahead of the Wichita Wind Surge’s season opener.
And for the first time, he sat down with Eyewitness News to talk about the frightening June night that nearly ended his life.
“I wasn’t on my normal shift. We were at the station about to go home when the officers came over the radio, screaming that they were being shot at,” Mellard recalled. “So, we ran out of the station and got in our cars as fast as we could. I was driving, so when I got out of my car, I checked on the first officer who was my sister and made sure she was okay. And then I ran to the other officer who was in the driveway of the house where the suspect was, checked on him, made sure he was okay and then was trying to get information from him where the suspect was that was shooting. And he told me he was last seen in the backyard of the house that he was in front of. When I stepped out, like into that little alleyway there, that’s when I looked up the alleyway and I saw him. Like, it was a shadow, but I could see a man with a rifle pointed at me. And I heard the first gunshot and I got hit in the left leg. Me and him exchanged gunfire and I got hit in the right left, which broke bones in my leg and made me fall to the ground. And as I was falling, I got shot in the mouth.”
Fellow WPD officers are among people calling Mellard’s recovery a miracle, seeing him again able to walk and talk.
“Oh yeah, that’s what it is: a miracle, luck,” Mellard said. “I definitely believe in a higher power and God was with me that night. I’m doing PT three times a week to work on my muscle and to get my strength back so hopefully, I can get back to work ASAP.”
Ahead of throwing the first pitch before the Wind Surge home opener, Mellard indicated he was excited, but nervous about the opportunity.
“I’ve played baseball before, but not to this level and I’ve never thrown out a first pitch,” he said. “So, I took some practice throws the other day and about threw my shoulder out, but I’m sure I’ll be alright.”
Mellard also discussed what support from the Wichita community has meant to him.
“I never thought it would be anything close to what it has been support-wise from the community. I’m blessed,” he said. “Wichita is a great place to be a police officer. My wife has been my rock and she’s held the family together. We have two small daughters together and she’s, she’s my hero.”
You can see the full interview with Mellard in the player below.
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