Authorities on Thursday searched neighborhoods north of downtown for at least two men suspected in a shooting, prompting six nearby schools to lock down for part of the afternoon.
Wichita police Sgt. Ron Hunt said the pair remained at large by evening, several hours after an apparent shootout involving two vehicles at the Family Dollar near 13th and Broadway. A woman who owns one of the vehicles – an SUV that later crashed at 11th and Waco – was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice after she showed up at the scene and refused to cooperate with officers, Hunt said.
The “rolling disturbance” began shortly before 3 p.m., when someone in a white car fired at least three rounds at the SUV after it pulled into the parking lot of the Family Dollar in the 300 block of East 13th Street. At least one witness told police that someone in the SUV returned gunfire, Hunt said.
The SUV then sped away and crashed moments later at 11th and Waco, Hunt said; whoever was inside ran away.
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Police spent several hours Thursday searching the area for at least two men, triggering lockdowns at North High School, Marshall Middle School, Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet, Park Elementary, Irving Elementary and Woodland Elementary, Wichita public schools spokeswoman Susan Arensman said by e-mail. Students in the all of the schools were released by 3:37 p.m., she said.
Traffic was also diverted in the area.
One suspect is described as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a thin build, who had long dreadlocks and was wearing khaki pants, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. The second is a bald, black man, about 5-foot-7 with a heavy build, who may have been wearing a white shirt, he said.
Hunt said the SUV had apparently been hit by rounds fired from a rifle or assault-style weapon. Officers, however, had not recovered any shell casings from the parking lot of the Family Dollar by early evening, he added.
Police think at least one of the men may have been injured, Hunt said, and are monitoring walk-in patients at hospitals.
Hunt said no shooting occurred in the 1700 block of North Park Place, despite an early report called into dispatch of a possible drive-by in the area.
He encouraged anyone with information about the suspects to call 911.