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Trooper Ferdinand Frederick Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas

Trooper

Ferdinand Frederick "Bud" Pribbenow

Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas

End of Watch: Saturday, July 11, 1981

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 47

Tour: 22 years

Badge # 211

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .357 caliber

Offender: Convicted of first degree murder

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Trooper Ferdinand Pribbenow was shot and killed during a traffic stop near El Dorado, Kansas.

The suspect shot him before he had a chance to react. The suspect fled and was later spotted at the tollgate at the Kellogg exit in East Wichita and a pursuit ensued. About a mile into the chase, the suspect rammed the back of a van that was stopping at a light at Kellogg and Rock Road near the Towne East Shopping Mall. Officers ordered the suspect to exit his car and he responded with gunfire.

Officers returned fire, striking the suspect several times before he was taken into custody. He was convicted of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and first degree murder and sentenced to life. He was denied parole in July of 2012 but has another parole hearing in July, 2017.

Trooper Pribbenow had served with the Kansas Highway Patrol with the agency for 22 years. He was survived by his wife and five daughters.

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Most Recent Reflection

Dearest Toyia, I hope you and your family are doing as well as possible and have wonderful memories of your dad. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss and frankly a loss to many others in our community. I and several others in a van returning to Wichita from Kansas City were witnesses. We were driving by El Dorado when a car passed us at a huge rate of speed. Right after that we saw a state trooper coming the opposite direction. He crossed the median in pursuit. When the trooper went by our van, I had eye contact with him. I smiled, he looked business-like, then he was on his way. We were probably going seventy and the speeder just blew by us. We all thought it was pretty cool that that guy was going to get a ticket for driving like a moron. We came upon the trooper's car and the other guy was pulling away. We knew he could not have written a ticket so fast. We could see the trooper was down in front of his car. I jumped out and ran back, put my arms under the trooper and tried to get him to speak. I could get no response, but I told him I loved him, and God loved him. Then I jumped in the car thinking I could pursue, but I couldn't figure out how. We called on the radio with a description of the car and the state of the license plate. We stayed there and the police showed up. They took us to the station in El Dorado for witness statements. I was the only one from the van to testify in the trial. Everyone else had seen things just a little bit differently. It was, of course, about as open and closed a case as you could have. I really don't recall looking at the person that much during the trial, but I did notice his mom and dad who looked in total shock.

It took me almost five years before I could drive that road again. I recall the funeral like it was yesterday. I am so sorry for the loss your family has had. Your dad served our community and our state with dignity and honor. I know that he is in heaven smiling down at you and your family right now.

I was totally unaware that there were ever probation hearings. In the history of the world this would be the last person who should ever get probation. I am going to make darn sure to write a letter.

It horrified and changed everyone's life involved with it. We didn't talk about it. The jovial atmosphere we had in traveling changed dramatically and so many other things. Even though I didn't know your dad, it seems like the face and smile that I saw, that I can still see to this day, was the face of a man doing his duty with honor and dignity. I hope you always keep those wonderful memories of your dad. I'm sure you and your family will greet him in a better place in the future. God bless you and your family.

Patrick Hill, Wichita

Patrick Hill
Witness
May 22, 2017

 

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