April 19, 2013

Police search for three men in fatal shooting in downtown Wichita

Two men were booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder Friday, a day after a fatal shooting occurred in downtown Wichita.

Two men were booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder Friday, a day after a fatal shooting occurred in downtown Wichita.

A 33-year-old man was shot several times at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday in a house at 446 N. Emporia, near Central and Broadway, Wichita police Lt. Todd Ojile said. The man was taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, where he was pronounced dead about half an hour later.

The gunfire injured two other people, a 22-year-old man and 29-year-old woman, Ojile said Friday. Police were seeking three men in connection with the shooting, he said.

Early Friday evening, two men – identified in online arrest reports as Kyle Beltz, 21, and Kyler Carriker, 22 – had been booked into Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, records show. Two men with the same names as those booked are listed as witnesses to Thursday’s homicide on North Emporia, a Wichita Police Department incident report shows.

Carriker also is listed as a victim of and Beltz as a witness to an aggravated battery involving firearms, another police report shows, at the same address and same time – 9:34 p.m. – as the homicide.

Jail reports show Beltz was booked at 6:32 p.m. Friday and Carriker was booked at 6:56 p.m. Each also is being held on suspicion of drug charges, according to the booking details; neither had a bond amount listed Friday evening.

Authorities issued a felony pick-up for first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery for another person, the police report detailing Thursday’s homicide shows.

Authorities could not be reached immediately for further details Friday evening.

In a news briefing with media Friday morning, Ojile said three men knocked on the door of the house at 446 N. Emporia and were allowed inside. Police reports indicate someone in the house knew at least one of the three visitors. Some sort of altercation erupted, Ojile said, and numerous shots were fired.

In addition to the man killed, a 22-year-old man was hit in the leg and a 29-year-old woman was grazed on the arm by a bullet, Ojile said. The man left the house and went to a house in the 1600 block of South Spruce, where he called police.

He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment and released, Ojile said. The woman grazed by a bullet was treated at the house on Emporia but did not require a trip to the hospital, he said.

“At this time we can’t tell” if people on both sides of the dispute fired weapons, Ojile said. “That’s going to come out in the ballistics” report.

Investigators on Friday were still collecting evidence at the scene, he said. None of the people inside the house is connected to a gang, Ojile said.

The dead man’s name has not yet been released by authorities, but a police report names the victim in Thursday’s homicide as Ronald Betts. His age and address were not listed on the document.

This is the fifth homicide this year in Wichita, police said.

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