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Crime and Courts

UPDATE: Wichita Police Identify Officer Struck By Vehicle

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Updated Feb. 8, 2:30 p.m.: The Wichita Police Department has identified the injured officer as 25-year WPD veteran Brian Arterburn. Officials say Arterburn's condition has improved since Tuesday when he had emergency surgery at Via Christi St. Francis. He sustained injuries to his chest, abdomen and brain.  

In a news release, the WPD thanked the community for its continued support. 

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Credit Wichita Police Department Facebook
Officer Brian Aterburn.

Updated Feb. 8, 10:00 a.m.: 31-year-old Justin Terrazas has been booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and theft in relation to the incident.  

At a news briefing Wednesday morning, Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said the officer's name is still not being released out of respect for him and his family.

"He's doing a lot better than he was yesterday," Livingston said. "He's stable but is still in critical condition. He has a lot of injuries to overcome."

Livingston asked that the officer "be kept in everyone's prayers."

"That’s what living in a community is all about right? Law enforcement caring for people and people caring for law enforcement," he said. "That was demonstrated yesterday."

Livingston urged the community to remember the rest of the department, especially those who work directly with the injured cop.

"They still had to come back into work today and that's tough on them," Livingston said tearfully, adding that he met with them this morning and they "are in about as good of spirits as they possibly can be."

He said counseling services are being offered for the department.

In lieu of flowers and cards, the WPD asks that donations be made to Honore Adversis, a foundation that provides timely and critical financial assistance or services to police members associated with the Fraternal Order of Police in Wichita.

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Credit Sedgwick County Jail
Justin Terrazas.

Updated Feb. 7,  4:00 p.m.: Wichita Police say the injured officer is in still critical condition and recently came out of surgery. Deputy Chief Jose Salcido did not release the officer's name, but said he is a 25-year veteran of the WPD.

Salcido said that following a vehicle pursuit, the suspect fled on foot into a business.

"He was taken into custody by a K-9 officer with the assistance of citizens in the business and his K-9 partner," Salcido said.

The suspect has not yet been booked into the Sedgwick County jail.

Original story: A Wichita Police officer is in critical condition at an area hospital after being run over by a vehicle in south Wichita. The officer's name has not been released.

WPD Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said at a briefing that the incident took place around 1 p.m. on the 2100 block of South Topeka, where two officers were monitoring a house where a stolen vehicle was being kept. Woodrow said a suspect inside the home was known to police and had several felony warrants.

"The stolen vehicle took off and there was an officer that was out on foot and this officer was [run] over by the suspect in the vehicle," Woodrow said. "There was a second officer on scene who fired at least one round toward the suspect, but it's unknown where that bullet struck at this time."

A chase ensued and officers followed the vehicle to the 600 block of East Pawnee, where the suspect was caught and taken into custody.

"There are no outstanding suspects at this time," Woodrow said.

The Wichita Police Department, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol all responded to the incident. Woodrow did not have an estimate on the number of units.

"[The call] came out as an 'officer down,' so everybody came running," she said.

The WPD is expected to release more information on the incident later this afternoon.

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.