Old Town gunfire this weekend just missed Wichita police officers

09/10/2012 4:50 PM

08/05/2014 8:58 PM

Three Wichita police officers were “inches” from the path of bullets fired in Old Town early Sunday morning, records indicate.

The officers were standing in a parking garage investigating reports of gunfire in the 200 block of North Mead shortly before 2 a.m. when another round of shots was heard, police have said. A car near where the officers were standing was hit.

Lt. Doug Nolte said police have no suspects in the shooting case. Police are still looking for a man who left in a white SUV.

It’s not clear yet whether the officers were targeted, authorities said.

“Who knows why they were shooting or who they were shooting at?” Capt. Max Tenbrook said. “We do not know that.”

The acoustics of the brick buildings in the area made it difficult to tell where shots were coming from, Nolte said.

“Without having a suspect or position of where the shots came from, we cannot decisively say the shots were being directed at officers — especially because brick buildings can ricochet bullets,” Nolte said in an e-mail response to questions.

No injuries were reported, though bullets struck two vehicles. It was the fourth consecutive weekend on which shots were fired in the popular downtown entertainment district.

“We are very concerned” about the rash of shooting incidents, Nolte said.

Tenbrook said police are investigating whether a shooting incident later Sunday morning may be linked to what happened in Old Town earlier. Two people reported being hit by bullets in the 1400 block of North Bluff shortly before 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

A 27-year-old man showed up at Wesley Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg, Nolte said. He was running along Bluff when he was hit in the leg by a bullet. The bullet hit the man in the back of his thigh and passed through the front. He was admitted for treatment.

A 30-year-old woman told police she was driving on Bluff when she slowed because a car was stopped in the street in the middle of the block, Nolte said.

“She heard several shots being fired and then she felt something on her left hip,” he said.

A bullet had penetrated her car and grazed her hip. She was treated and released at a local hospital.

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