Crime

Witnesses give details of how prisoner allegedly killed two Wyandotte County deputies

Two Wyandotte County court workers saw Antoine Fielder fatally shoot two sheriff deputies in the head last year, according to court testimony Wednesday.

In one instance, Fielder was standing over a deputy when he shot her, one of the workers testified.

The new details came during a preliminary hearing for Fielder, who is charged with capital murder in the deaths of deputies Patrick Rohrer, 35, and Theresa King, 44. After the hearing, Fielder was bound over on two counts of capital murder and one count of aggravated robbery.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

Rohrer and King were transporting Fielder and another prisoner back to jail after a court hearing on June 15, 2018, when Fielder allegedly disarmed one of them and shot them both. Fielder also was shot and injured.

The shooting occurred in a secured parking area outside the Wyandotte County Correctional and Court Services building across the street from the jail.

Because an affidavit outlining the evidence has been sealed, the preliminary hearing was the first time details of the incident were made public.

fielde_fitted.jpeg
Antoine Fielder Johnson County Sheriff's Office

Deputies killed

One of the workers at the court services building said she was walking down a hallway to exit a back door to a loading dock near the secured parking area when she heard what sounded like fireworks.

Just as she passed through the door, the witness said, she saw Fielder holding a gun and pointing it at “Deputy Patrick.” The deputy was pinned between a sheriff’s transport van and the chain-link fence to the secured area.

With her wrists together, the witness demonstrated in court that Fielder was able to raise the gun in both hands despite being handcuffed and connected to a belly chain.

The witness said Fielder then fired 3 to 4 shots at Rohrer, striking him in the head. The witness testified that she retreated back inside, closing the door softly so as not to draw the attention of Fielder.

“It was very traumatizing,” the witness said.

Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King
Wyandotte County Sheriff’s deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King were killed in the line of duty June 15. Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office

The other worker testified that she was with a probation client when she heard a woman yelling. The tone of the voice captured her attention so she went to the window to see what was happening.

When she looked down at the secured area, she saw King with her weapon drawn, pointing it at Fielder who also was armed. The witnessed told her client to grab her phone. The witness dialed 911, but got a busy tone. She then heard a gunshot.

The witness looked out the window again and saw King fired. Fielder fired back and it appeared that his shot struck King because she pivoted away and collapsed. Fielder walked over to her and shot her in the head, the witness testified.

Fielder tried to flee the secured area by shooting the lock on the gate. When the gun he had ran out of bullets, he went back and got King’s firearm.

“It was the slowest and fastest time of my life,” said the witness, who also took cellphone photos.

She didn’t realize there was another prisoner in the secured area until he stepped from under an overhang yelling, “Help. Help. I had nothing to do with it.”

The witness yelled for him to “go back, go back” because Fielder was still armed. The witness also alerted deputies who were running to the area that Fielder was still armed inside the secured area and he was “playing possum.”

King, who often went by “TK,” had been about to start a new job in August as a school resource officer in her youngest daughter’s school. The single mother of three was a 13-year veteran on the force and was well-liked around the courthouse.

Rohrer, a husband and father of two young children, was a kindhearted “jokester-geek” who loved his job and was proud of what he did. He had been with the department for seven years and had moved to the court transport division in January 2018.

Michael Handler, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on the deputies, said they both died from a gunshot to the head and ruled their deaths homicides.

Fielder is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 2.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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