August 8, 2014

Police: Dispute over gambling losses prompted shootout that injured 4

A dispute that erupted over losses at an illegal gambling game erupted into the shootout that wounded four people in a Wichita apartment early Thursday morning, police officials said Friday.

One of those four men has been placed under armed guard at a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition. If he survives his injuries, police say, he’ll be arrested in connection with the shootout.

“We believe … there was some gambling going on” in an apartment on the second floor of Calvary Towers, Capt. Doug Nolte said.

Three men became upset over money they lost while gambling and left the apartment in the 2600 block of North Grove, he said. They returned a short time later, at about 4 a.m., Nolte said.

They forced their way inside the apartment as someone else was leaving and demanded their money back from the two men hosting the gambling, according to a police report. They then fired shots at the two hosts, who returned fire.

One of the hosts was hit in the left eye and abdomen, according to a police document. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center by ambulance.

The other host was hit in the right foot, right thigh and right forearm. He was transported to Wesley via private vehicle.

Two of the men who forced their way into the apartment to demand money were shot as well, according to a police report. The 25-year-old man now under guard by police arrived at Wesley via private vehicle with several gunshot wounds. He was hit in the upper right chest and was also struck twice in both upper thighs, according to a police report.

The second intruder, a 27-year-old man, was brought to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis with a bullet wound to the upper leg. While he was being treated at the hospital, Nolte said, he began to resist medical staff.

An armed security guard was among those who came to help restrain him, Nolte said. During the ensuing struggle, the 27-year-old man got his hand on the security guard’s gun but was unable to remove it from the holster before he was subdued.

After his injury was treated, he was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of attempted robbery, arrest records show.

There were many people inside the apartment when the shootout erupted, Nolte said, but only four people were injured.

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

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