Bulletproof vest saves Butler County deputy

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BUTLER COUNTY, Kansas — It’s a phone call that Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Herzet remembers all too well.

“It scares you when you get that call in the middle of the night,” said Sheriff Kelly Herzet, Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy office. “You got a deputy shot in the area of 54 and Santa Fe Lake Rd.”

One of his deputies was shot by a suspect early Monday morning.

“You’re thinking as you’re driving, ‘Is he going to be OK?'” said Herzet. “What are you going to tell his mother and father, his wife and children?”

For the last 24 hours, more than 100 law enforcement officers have been on a massive manhunt for Jan Tracy Kilbourne, 41.

Kilbourne is wanted for the shooting.

“This gentleman is armed and dangerous,” said Herzet.

We learned the deputy has been on the force for about 3 years and is now recovering at home after he was hit in the right shoulder.

Despite his injuries, the sheriff says his guy is still in good spirits.

“He loves being a deputy. He loves working here,” said Herzet. “He was more worried about his vest than anything.”

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office requires all deputies to wear a bulletproof vest for protection when they’re out patrolling.

For safety, the vest is replaced every five years and part of the cost is picked up by the federal government.

It’s a piece of equipment that very likely saved his life.

“You know you go to the academy and you go through training,” said Herzet. “You train and train, but he never thought it could happen to him and he said it just happened in a matter of seconds and he’s in a gunfire.”

The name of the deputy has not been released yet.

He’s on administrative leave, but could return to work as earlier as next week.

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