Investigators recreate scene where officer was critically injured

WICHITA, Kan. Investigators returned to recreate the scene Thursday near Topeka and Kinkaid where, two days earlier, a Wichita police officer was run over by a stolen vehicle.

The officer, Brian Arterburn--a 25-year-veteran of the Wichita Police Department--remains in critical condition. The man arrested in the case, 31-year-old Justin Terrazas is in the Sedgwick County Jail on $500,000 bond. Terrazas faces charges including theft and attempted first-degree murder.

Recreating the scene Thursday is part of the investigation into the case that will be turned over to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office Friday.

In their return to the scene Thursday, investigators brought with them an exact replica of the SUV Terrazas was driving when he's reported to have hit Arterburn. Investigators say they believe Terrazas deliberately ran the officer over with a stolen vehicle as he was trying to escape police. Minutes after Arterburn was hit, police arrested Terrazas inside a business on Pawnee.

As investigators work to better understand what happened when Arterburn was injured, Thursday afternoon, Eyewitness news spoke with the officer's family about his recovery.

By phone, Arterburn's aunt, Dee Feller tells KWCH reporter Akeam Ashford her nephew is no stranger to fighting. Arterburn beat the odds once when he survived liver failure.

"He was just hours away from being gone when they got the call for a transplant for him at KU," Feller says. "So we were very fortunate when he made it through that, and he came through with flying colors."

Feller says she's proud of the work Arterburn has done in his 25-year career with the Wichita Police Department, including being named Officer of the Year in 2001.

"At the time Brian went into (law enforcement), it's a completely different world than it is today," Feller says. At that point and time, people respected the police. They cared about them. They weren't a target as they are today."

Feller says she knows her nephew has a new fight ahead of him, but she believes he'll be able to come through. She says the support from the Wichita community has been encouraging.

"What I have seen, everything for Brian, has been phenomenal," she says. "And I'm proud Wichita has done what it has done for him."