A man who was run over while trying to halt the theft of his father’s pickup in southwest Wichita over the weekend has died, police said Monday.
Shawn Palmer, 25, died at a Wichita hospital Sunday morning from injuries he suffered after being run over by a trailer being pulled by his father’s pickup Saturday morning, Lt. Randy Reynolds said. Palmer and his older brother were at the QuikTrip at Meridian and MacArthur shortly after 7:30 a.m. when they noticed their father’s pickup being driven by someone they didn’t know.
They confronted the driver, who began to drive off, Reynolds said. The brothers jumped onto the pickup but were thrown off as the pickup gained speed. The trailer being pulled by the pickup ran over the younger brother, Reynolds said. The older brother was also taken to a local hospital but has since been released.
Officers found the pickup and trailer “in an overgrown field nearby,” Reynolds said.
They found a suspect a short time later. The man, 34-year-old Edward Ladish, was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of aggravated battery, felony theft and burglary.
Palmer’s death means Ladish could be charged with felony murder later this week, Reynolds said.
“At the time we made the arrest, Shawn had not died,” he said.
The decision on criminal charges is in the hands of the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.
“I certainly sympathize with people wanting to recover their property,” Reynolds said. “But tragedies can happen when we get involved in things like that.”
The best move to make in a situation like what the brothers faced Saturday morning, he said, is to call 911 and let officers handle it.
“It’s certainly not worth losing your life over,” Reynolds said.
The vehicle stolen was a 1993 Ford pickup.
Palmer’s death raises Wichita’s homicide total to 15 so far this year, police said. There were 17 in 2013.