A memorial service is being held Friday morning for Kyle Allen VanWinkle, 30, a loan operations specialist for the $1.8 billion CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., who died after a parking lot altercation last Sunday during the Kansas City Chiefs-Denver Broncos game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
VanWinkle leaves behind his wife, Jenni Flanders, and son, William Allen, who was born just seven weeks ago, according to VanWinkle’s obituary.
In lieu of flowers, the family has set up the Kyle VanWinkle Memorial Fund in care of Jenni VanWinkle to benefit the education of Kyle’s son.
Kansas City police investigators have ruled VanWinkle’s death a homicide, and they have also arrested a “person of interest” who has not yet been identified because he has not been charged, according to the Kansas City Star.
The newspaper reported that witnesses saw a tailgater pummel a man (VanWinkle) who apparently climbed into the wrong vehicle in the stadium’s parking lot. Police told the newspaper that VanWinkle was punched repeatedly.
After the beating, the tailgater and his friends pushed away a bystander who wanted to help VanWinkle, according to the Kansas City Star. They went back to their vehicles to continue watching the game on TV. But when someone noticed VanWinkle was no longer breathing and called police, the tailgater fled the stadium, the newspaper reported.
VanWinkle was the son of Dean VanWinkle, a detective sergeant in the investigations unit of the Grandview Police Department, and Cindy VanWinkle.
A resident of Smithville, Mo., VanWinkle joined CommunityAmerica in September 2010 as a credit union analyst for the cooperative’s business services division.
He worked in that position until March 2012 when he began a new job as a document services representative. In November 2012, he became a loan operations specialist in the CommunityAmerica’s business division, according to VanWinkle’s LinkedIn profile page.
After graduating from William Jewell College in 2006, he was hired by Liberty Bank in Liberty, Mo., as a junior lender and consumer loan officer.
The death of VanWinkle came one year to the day after Kansas City Chief Linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend on Dec. 1, 2012, at a home not far from Arrowhead Stadium. Belcher then drove to the team’s practice facility and shot himself in front of then-coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
According to the Associated Press, in September 2012, a gunman attacked a Kansas City Royals employee in the same parking lot, which also serves Kauffman Stadium. The incident took place several hours before a Royals game, according to the news agency.