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Woman arrested following shooting in Potwin

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, August 19, 2013, at 7:53 a.m.

She claimed the shooting was an accident.

But the evidence indicated otherwise, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said, so a 31-year-old woman was arrested after her husband was seriously wounded Sunday afternoon in the tiny town of Potwin.

Felony aggravated battery charges were filed against Brooke Longobardi on Monday, said Joe Penney, assistant Butler County attorney . Her next hearing is scheduled Sept. 23 in the Butler County Couthouse in El Dorado.

Brooke Longobardi called 911 at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday to report that she had accidentally shot her husband, Herzet said. Deputies and EMS responded to the house on Holmes in Potwin, where they discovered Richard Longobardi, 49, had a gunshot wound to his back in the upper left shoulder.

He was flown by medical helicopter to Wesley Medical Center in potentially serious condition. Brooke Longobardi and four children, ranging in age from 4 to 13, were taken in separate vehicles to El Dorado for questioning, Herzet said.

The woman told investigators she was cleaning a small-caliber handgun when it discharged, Herzet said.

But interviews with the children and neighbors revealed two shots had been fired, “and there had been a heated argument over the children,” he said.

Investigators were told that’s when Brooke Longobardi “went outside on the back porch and shot her husband,” who was standing in the driveway, Herzet said.

“The evidence will stand for itself,” he said.

She was booked into the Butler County Jail, Herzet said. The children were placed in protective custody and later released to the custody of a grandparent.

The Longobardis had lived in Potwin for about a year and pretty much kept to themselves, Herzet said.

“They didn’t have a lot of friends in town,” he said.

Richard Longobardi was paroled in 2004 after spending 17 years in prison for first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the 1986 killing of Richard Gitchell in Wyandotte County, state records show.

Herzet, who lives in Potwin, says he can’t remember the last time the community of less than 500 people had a shooting.

Contributing: Beccy Tanner, Wichita Eagle

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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