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Lawyer seeks release of man charged in Wichita store shooting

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 1:42 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, August 29, 2012, at 5:58 p.m.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Wichita man with four counts of aggravated assault two days after he allegedly fired a fully loaded .38-caliber revolver at a store security guard and pointed the gun at three other people in Burlington Coat Factory.

The man’s attorney said late Wednesday afternoon that he was trying to get his client released from jail so he could get treatment for a broken jaw and teeth he suffered when he was arrested.

Jake L. Jacobs, 27, made his first appearance Wednesday afternoon in Sedgwick County District Court. Jacobs is being held in jail under a $100,000 bond. After the court appearance, attorney Mark Schoenhofer filed a request to reduce Jacobs’ bond to $10,000 so he can get out of jail.

“This guy needs to get into a surgeon and get surgery,” Schoenhofer said.

Jacobs has no convictions for violent crimes, Schoenhofer said in his request for a lower bond. Schoenhofer argues in the request that Jacobs is not at risk of fleeing “and wishes no further contact with the alleged victims.” At the jail, Jacobs is being held “on suicide watch for unknown reasons,” which keeps him from speaking with his family or having a blanket, sheet or clothes in his cell, the filing said.

Jacobs insists that he did not resist police during his arrest Monday, Schoenhofer said.

Schoenhofer disputes statements by police Deputy Chief Tom Stolz that Jacobs struggled with police after the shooting at Eastgate Mall and that his injuries were minor.

“He was kicked in the face multiple times, broke his jaw, kicked out several of his teeth … kicked so hard that teeth from his lower jaw were embedded in the roof of his mouth,” Schoenhofer said.

Responding to Schoenhofer’s comments, Stolz said: “If his client is telling him that he is complying, then it is my opinion he is receiving misinformation from his client.”

Stolz said police were reacting to a “stressful situation. They have a potential shooter, and they used force to arrest him” after the gunman failed to obey numerous commands and scuffled with officers, Stolz said.

What happened inside the store will be scrutinized, both in court for the criminal case, and by police during a standard internal investigation that will determine whether officers acted properly, Stolz said.

Stolz has said that police did not fire a shot at Jacobs because they didn’t see a weapon on him as they quickly converged in the store, near Rock and Kellogg, about 10:30 a.m. Monday. Jacobs didn’t comply and continued to fight with police after an officer used a Taser on him, and police found a loaded handgun in Jacobs’ pants pocket, Stolz said.

Schoenhofer said he could not comment on the accusations against his client. He said Jacobs has a concealed-carry permit.

“This is a guy who has a relatively peaceful background,” Schoenhofer said.

The Eagle reported Tuesday that police had cited Jacobs in February for carrying a concealed weapon in the 2000 block of East Pawnee. But according to a municipal court document, the charge was dismissed in March after it was learned that Jacobs had a permit to carry a gun. Police were ordered to give a revolver back to Jacobs. It was not the same .38-caliber revolver allegedly used in the Monday incident, Stolz has said.

Schoenhofer said that one of Jacobs’ relatives told him that in the February incident, Jacobs was with a relative whom police stopped for allegedly driving under the influence and that at the time, Jacobs voluntarily told police he had a gun.

Schoenhofer said he met Tuesday evening with Jacobs at the jail, where he is being held after being released from a hospital.

“He’s in a lot of pain now,” he said. Schoenhofer said he had been told that Jacobs has been limited to Ibuprofen three times a day.

“The left side of his face is very swollen,” Schoenhofer said. “He’s missing teeth. He was hurt pretty significantly.”

Schoenhofer said he is seeking a copy of any possible surveillance video of the arrest.

Stolz has said that Jacobs is accused of pulling out a pistol and firing one shot, from 6 to 8 feet away, at an unarmed security guard in uniform who had asked whether he was going to pay for a Sprite he had removed from a case and gulped down. The bullet hit a plastic stand.

The gunman then pointed his revolver at three others inside the store, and employees and customers moved away from the shooter, Stolz has said.

He described it as an extremely tense situation where five veteran officers had to take immediate action in what police call an “active shooter” situation.

Schoenhofer said: “The only person in that entire incident who got injured, and badly injured, was my client.”

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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