Zachary Gaston charged with first-degree murder in shooting death of 8-year-old girl

09/07/2012 4:14 PM

08/08/2014 10:12 AM

A judge formally charged Zachary S. Gaston with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 8-year-old Kimbra Moore, who died early Tuesday when a stray bullet penetrated her home and struck her in the head as she slept.

Gaston, 24, made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court on Friday, after his arrest Tuesday evening in connection with Moore’s death and other crimes during a shooting near a south Wichita mobile home park. Judge Warren Wilbert also charged Gaston with aggravated battery with a firearm, criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with Tuesday’s events.

Gaston remains in Sedgwick County jail on $500,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Sept. 20. He has requested a court-appointed attorney.

An early morning altercation between a group of men and a man in a stolen car that ended in gunfire around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning led to Moore’s death. Police say Gaston allegedly pulled a gun and fired the first shots from an apartment parking lot, in the 3000 block of South Broadway, as the man in the car fled. He then ran after the car next door into Oaks Mobile Home Park and fired more shots.

A stray bullet pierced outside walls of one mobile home and struck Moore in her head as she slept next to her siblings, ages 6 and 4. The younger children — asleep in the same bed — were not injured. Police say Moore was killed instantly.

In nearby mobile home, a second shot grazed 46-year-old Kimberly McDonough’s head as she watched TV with her husband and daughter. She was treated at a local hospital and released.

Law enforcement presented the case to the district attorney’s office Friday morning, D.A. spokeswoman Georgia Cole said.

Jessica Padilla, who also made a first appearance before Wilbert on Friday afternoon, was formally charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer, also in connection with the shooting. She was booked into jail Tuesday on an outstanding warrant and under suspicion of aiding and abetting a felon.

Padilla is scheduled to next appear in court at 9 a.m. on Sept. 20. Her bond is set at $100,000 on the interference charge. She also requested court-appointed counsel on Friday.

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