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Man killed in nightclub shooting part of group asked to leave

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at 1:31 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at 6:14 p.m.

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A man angry at bouncers for throwing him out of a club for violating wardrobe policy pulled out a handgun early Sunday morning and opened fire at the bouncers, police said Monday, prompting a bouncer to return fire and kill the shooter’s brother.

Two other men were wounded, police say – one of them the man who fired at the bouncers.

Police on Monday identified the man killed in the shooting as Layfayette Johnson, 30. The incident began shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday when Johnson’s 21-year-old brother, identified in police documents as Travis Johnson, was “physically” removed by bouncers at the Spotlite 2 Club at 1710 E. Morris, Lt. Todd Ojile said. That’s at Lincoln and Hydraulic in southeast Wichita.

“There was no fighting inside or anything,” Ojile said. “They were just breaking the rules of the club.”

A post on the Spotlite 2’s Facebook page lays out the club’s admission fees and states: “We also don’t tolerate things such as sagging pants and throwing up gang signs. If you can’t comply with the rules that we set we ask that you don’t attempt to gain entry to our establishment.”

Layfayette Johnson and the rest of the group left peacefully, but Travis Johnson got into an argument with bouncers in the parking lot, Ojile said. He then pulled out a handgun.

“We’re still trying to figure out where he got the gun,” Ojile said. “From witnesses, we know that commands were given not to do it and to leave. That is not what happened.”

The younger Johnson fired several shots, witnesses told police. At least three bouncers were armed, Ojile said, but investigators think only one returned fire.

Travis Johnson was hit in the leg and was found across the street from the club when officers arrived on the scene, Ojile said. His brother was found lying in the parking lot. He was hit more than once and died at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis at 1:59 a.m.

A third person showed up at a local hospital later Sunday morning for treatment of a graze wound on his leg, Ojile said.

Police aren’t saying which bouncer returned fire in the incident. State law allows nightclub owners to be armed. At least three of the five bouncers in the parking lot at the time of the shooting were armed, Ojile said.

“He has a right to defend himself,” Ojile said of the bouncer who returned fire.

The bouncers are employed by the club, he said, and are not off-duty law enforcement officers or part of a private security firm.

The case will be presented on Wednesday to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine which, if any, charges will be filed, Ojile said.

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

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