Doug Schroeder, Hesston police chief who took down the gunman in Thursday’s shooting incident at Excel Industries, was a native of Goessel and graduated from Goessel High School.
His sister-in-law, Megan Duerksen, is a paraprofessional at Goessel High School. She said she learned to know Schroeder after he married her sister.
Although hailed as a hero by many people, Schroeder would probably want to be out of the limelight and just get on with his life, Duerksen said.
“He is so humble,” she said. “He would definitely be someone who said he just did his job.
“Since I’ve known him, he’s just been very common sense, level headed, and makes good decisions in everything he does,” she said. “I just know that when he knew people were getting hurt, he didn’t question that he needed to go in because he’s just that kind of person.”
She said that in Sunday school he sometimes shared some of the difficult things he experienced as a police officer.
“I think God may have been preparing him to go through this kind of situation,” she said.
Like everyone else, she and her husband found out through news reports that their brother-in-law was the officer who killed the shooter. When they first heard about the incident, she thought, “Oh, my gosh, that’s his city!” She wondered if he had been involved.
They were glued to the television, and when one man described the police officer, they looked knowingly at each other.
It wasn’t until the next morning when she was at school that Duerksen learned that he was the one.
“I was looking at something and I remember saying, ‘Oh my gosh, that was him,’” she said. “It was a good thing I only had to work half a day.”
Duerksen said Schroeder is grounded in his faith and is a good father and husband.
“He’s an uncle to our kids, and our oldest son is the same age as his son,” she said. “Our son loves to go over there. They play football in the yard and go to Chiefs and Royals games whenever they can.
“Doug has always shared freely how his faith impacts his job, just in his dealings with people who he comes into contact with at work. His faith background gave him a caring nature.”