Kelsey Shaw and two of her friends were waiting in line to get into an after-hours party when the shooting started early Sunday morning.
They turned to run to safety in the parking lot of a private club at 1002 N. Cleveland, Wichita police Lt. Todd Ojile said Monday, but a bullet struck Shaw in the back of her head.
Shaw, 23, was pronounced dead about a half-hour later, shortly before 4 a.m. on Sunday, at a local hospital.
Several shots were fired from the street to the south and east of the club, Ojile said, but officers have had little cooperation either from witnesses or club employees. The club opens at midnight or 1 a.m., he said, and regularly hosts “after-hours” parties to draw patrons coming from other clubs that have closed for the night.
“We do not believe Miss Shaw was any type of a target in this,” Ojile said. “We believe she was an innocent victim struck by a round.”
An argument was occurring in the crowd outside the club after one or two men were asked to leave, Ojile said, but investigators have found no connection between that dispute and the shooting.
“We have not received any information about the shooter,” Ojile said.
Anyone with information about the incident or those responsible is encouraged to call the homicide unit at 316-268-4181. If they wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111. Tips can also be sent online at www.WichitaCrimeStoppers.com or via mobile phone by texting TIP217 then the message to CRIMES (274637).
This is the fifth homicide of the year in Wichita. It’s not the first shooting incident to occur at the club, Lt. Dan East said, but “it’s been a while” since the last shooting there.
The after-hours club, which is directly across the street from the historic Dunbar Theater, is home to a motorcycle business during the day. On Monday, a purple cross with a single red rose marked the spot where Shaw fell near the front door.