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Police identify victim in shooting near Lincoln and Webb; man arrested

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 23, 2014, at 12:45 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, June 26, 2014, at 4:46 p.m.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting early Saturday morning that was the culmination of a clash between rival gang members who showed up uninvited to the same house party, a Wichita police official said.

Juan “Gordo” Orona, 20, was shot in the head shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday as he sat in a parked car in the 900 block of South Cypress, Lt. Randy Reynolds said. That’s south of Lincoln and a few blocks west of Webb Road in southeast Wichita.

Law enforcement records indicate Christopher Cooper was arrested at 7101 E. Lincoln and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly before 4:30 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder. He is being held on $500,000 bond. Reynolds said detectives will present evidence to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office later this week.

Orona, a documented gang member, was the second person shot during clashes that erupted at the party on Cypress, Reynolds said.

The party “was supposed to be for a few people,” Reynolds said.

But some of the invited guests told others about the party, who then posted the time and location on social media sites.

“Upwards of 100 people showed up unannounced,” Reynolds said.

That included members of rival gangs. An argument broke out in the front yard about people showing up uninvited, Reynolds said. That escalated into a physical disturbance.

A gunshot was fired, Reynolds said, and a 17-year-old boy was struck in the upper right chest. He ran inside the house and hid in an interior closet. He was later taken to a local hospital, Reynolds said, and is expected to survive his wound.

The dispute spread down the street, a few houses away from the party, involving occupants of two vehicles, Reynolds said. Several more shots were fired.

“We have multiple shooters in this incident,” Reynolds said. “The victim’s vehicle was shot several times.”

Several shell casings were found next to the vehicle in which Orona was killed, a police document stated.

While investigators have talked to many people in connection with the shooting incidents, he said, there are still several other people that police would like to interrogate. Among them is Ruben Higadera, who is wanted on a felony warrant for a probation violation in an aggravated robbery case.

A felony pick-up has been issued for Higadera on suspicion of aggravated assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“I would say he is armed and dangerous,” Reynolds said of Higadera.

Anyone with information about the case or Higadera’s whereabouts is asked to call detectives at 316-268-4407 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Cooper, who faces a potential murder charge, is not a documented gang member, Reynolds said. Neither is the 17-year-old who was shot in the chest.

There’s no indication Saturday’s shootings on Cypress had anything to do with previous gang-related shootings elsewhere in the city, he said.

“I think this just happened to be members of two different gangs that crashed the same party,” Reynolds said.

Orona is the 11th homicide victim of the year in Wichita.

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

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