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Man accused in McDonald’s shooting facing federal charge

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at 1:06 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at 7:04 a.m.

A Wichita man already charged in state court in a shooting at a McDonald’s drive-through now is facing a federal weapons charge.

Sean Costa told police interviewing him that another man fired a shotgun at a car at the McDonald’s, and Costa said his girlfriend threw a tire tool at the same car, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday along with the federal charge.

The federal charge accuses Costa, 24, of being a felon in possession of a shotgun. Investigators found the 12-gauge shotgun at a west Wichita home where Costa and his girlfriend were staying, during a search triggered by the McDonald’s incident, the affidavit said. The affidavit provides new details about the McDonald’s incident.

On Jan. 9, a woman got out of a vehicle at a McDonald’s on West Kellogg and threw a tire iron at a second car, and a man got out of the same vehicle and fired a shotgun into the side of the second car, police said. No one was injured.

Two days after the shooting, prosecutors in state court charged Costa and his girlfriend, Melissa Palacios, 27, with four counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal possession of a firearm.

The federal court affidavit, signed by a Wichita police detective, gives a detailed narrative of the McDonald’s incident and ensuing investigation. It describes how a 1990 Buick LeSabre struck the rear bumper of a Chevy Trailblazer that cut in front of the Buick in the drive-through.

When the Buick exited, a woman left the driver’s seat of the Trailblazer and threw a tire tool that hit the side of the Buick, occupied by a female driver and a male passenger. About the same time, a man exited a rear passenger door of the Trailblazer and fired a shotgun blast that hit the post between the doors on the driver’s side of the Buick.

Police traced the Trailblazer to a house in the 2400 block of West Newell. While executing a search warrant at the home, officers found Costa and Palacios in a basement bedroom and a Mossberg 12-gauge pump-action shotgun in a crawl space next to the bed where officers took Costa and Palacios into custody, the affidavit said.

Costa waived his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed by the police detective, the affidavit said. In the interview, Costa said he and Palacios went to the McDonald’s and that she returned to the drive-through to get the rest of her food order and that she yelled at someone who hit the back of the Trailblazer she was driving. He said he saw Palacios throw a tire tool at another vehicle. He denied firing the shotgun and said a person named “Joseph,” in the back seat, got out and fired the blast, the document said.

The detective said in the affidavit that he had listened to calls Costa made from the Sedgwick County Jail after his arrest. In one call, Costa was relating what happened at the McDonald’s.

“Costa told her that if they just wouldn’t have gone back to the house,” the affidavit said. “Costa said to her that he hid the gun inside the wall in the basement and he should have put the gun upstairs,” the document said.

The affidavit said Costa is a “documented criminal street gang member” as defined by state law and has been documented in the Wichita police database as a “member of the White Supremacist.”

The document said Costa was convicted of aggravated assault, a felony, in 2011.

On Friday, Costa was put in custody of U.S. marshals, said Sedgwick County sheriff’s Capt. Larry Bragg.

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

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