Officer’s brother dies from injuries in Iraq
Baldwin City Police Officer Lance Parker's brother, Evan Parker, has died as a result of head injuries suffered Sunday when a grenade was tossed in his Army Humvee in Iraq. Officer Parker flew to Germany, along with their parents, and were with him in the hospital when he died.
"Yes, it is a sad day for the Baldwin Police Department," said Chief Mike McKenna Wednesday after he received the call from Parker. "It sure is sad. Our hearts are pretty heavy.
"(Lance) took it pretty hard," said McKenna. "They were very close, exceptionally close for brothers."
Evan Parker had lived in Baldwin with his brother when Lance Parker first started working for the police department. Evan Parker was working for a security company in Kansas City during that time.
"He was wanting to get a job in law enforcement," said McKenna. "He was in the reserves and got called over."
Evan Parker was in the Army. The injuries suffered Sunday brought him his second Purple Heart.
"In the latest incident he and another soldier were in a humvee and stopped to talk to another soldier," he said. "The terrorists have a new method of attack. Instead of land mines, they drive by and simply toss a grenade in. He had shrapnel wounds to his head.
"He had received a concussion earlier in the year from an explosion," said McKenna. "He had been sent to Germany for treatment of that, too."
There was a Purple Heart Ceremony for Evan Parker in Germany Tuesday. Following that, the decision was made to unhook him from the medical equipment that was keeping him alive, he said. There was no brain activity, he said, after talking to the father, a long-time friend, Wednesday morning.
The family is accompanying Evan Parker's body back to the United States.
"They'll be leaving Germany Saturday morning," said McKenna. "They'll arrive in Atlanta and have a mandatory four-hour layover. They will accompany Evan and arrive in Wichita late Saturday night. Funeral arrangements are still pending, but the service will be at gymnasium in South Haven."