A Wyandotte County deputy wounded during an overnight convenience store robbery remained hospitalized Wednesday evening in critical condition, officials said.
Two “persons of interest” were being held in connection with the incident, according to Kansas City, Kan., police.
Authorities are still searching for a third person.
The shooting occurred about 1:15 a.m. at the 7-Eleven in the 4400 block of Shawnee Drive, which is just west of Interstate 635 and Shawnee Drive.
The deputy had just gotten off work and stopped at the convenience store to get something to eat, said Sheriff’s Lt. Kelli Bailiff.
“While the deputy was inside, some individuals walked in for an apparent robbery attempt,” Bailiff said. “They shot the deputy at that time.”
The deputy was hit multiple times, police said. Though the deputy was listed in critical condition, officials were “optimistic” that he would survive, Bailiff said.
The sheriff’s office has not released the deputy’s age, how long he has been with the department or details of how events unfolded inside the store.
After the shooting, police and sheriff’s deputies cordoned off the area.
About 7:15 a.m., officers found a vehicle possibly involved in the incident and took two people into custody near 47th Street and Ruby Avenue. Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Terry Zeigler tweeted that a resident’s tip helped them arrest the two people.
After hours of searching a heavily wooded area, they shut down the search effort about 12:30 p.m.
Numerous officers assisted by tracking dogs, horse-mounted patrols and helicopters scoured the area, including patches of heavy woods, throughout the morning. They also searched vacant buildings, storm drains, open garages and other possible hiding places.
Police asked area residents to take extra care Wednesday morning by not warming unoccupied cars or letting children walk or stand alone at bus stops.
Bailiff said officials were looking into the possibility that the shooters were linked to two other violent armed robberies in Kansas City.
The first was reported just after 10 p.m. Tuesday at a gas station in the 8500 block of Woodland Avenue. Robbers fired a shot into the floor next to two employees. One employee suffered cuts to his head and face when pistol-whipped.
The robbers took money from the register and fired shots into the air as they left, police said.
The second robbery occurred about 12:50 a.m. Wednesday at a gas station in the 7900 block of Wornall Road.
Police said three robbers entered the store, separated the employees and demanded the money from the registers and safe.
They took an unknown amount of money and fired shots, striking one employee. A robber hit another employee in the head several times with a handgun. The robbers fled south. Police did not have a condition report on the wounded employee.
Kansas City, Kan., police also were looking into a possible connection with a fourth overnight armed robbery. It was reported about 10:50 p.m. Tuesday at a Family Dollar store in the 1200 block of Quindaro Boulevard.