WICHITA — Conceding they're at a dead end, Wichita police today asked for the public's help as they try to solve three homicides that happened only a few hours apart in January.
Two men were shot to death at 2931 E. Dunham, near 31st South and Hillside, shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 24.
Jeff Chitanavong, 22, and Keo Intavong, 66, were killed as they stood in the garage of the home, where a wake was being held, Lt. Ken Landwehr said.
Eight other people were wounded as suspects using several weapons fired from a vehicle passing by the house.
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Though numerous tips were called in after the shooting, Landwehr said they did not lead to a break in the case.
"We have no viable suspects in this double homicide," Landwehr said.
Police think gang members were targeting the son of the woman for whom the wake was held. The son, who belongs to a rival gang, was elsewhere in the house at the time of the shooting and was not harmed, Landwehr said.
The shooting appears to be a retaliation for the shooting death of 19-year-old Danny Dang at the Mid-America All-Indian Center in September 2006, Landwehr said.
Police also have no suspects in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Justin Cook only hours after the ambush at the wake.
Cook was at a party in a hotel room at Cambridge Suites, 711 N. Main, when a fight broke out on a hotel stairwell between members of rival gangs.
Two members of one gang heading for a birthday party at the hotel accidentally went to the wrong building and walked into a party thrown by a rival gang, Landwehr said.
Cook, who did not belong to a gang, became involved in the fight on the stairwell, then tried to flee in a vehicle.
But a man with a shotgun fired a blast from perhaps 10 feet away as Cook sat in the passenger seat of the fleeing vehicle.
Cook was hit in the head and pronounced dead two days later.
"We believe that there are several individuals in the parking lot that know exactly who did the shooting and what occurred," Landwehr said.
Anyone with information about either of the two cases should call the Wichita Police Department's homicide section at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.
They can also send a text message to Crime Stoppers by typing in CRIMES (274637), then TIP217 plus the message. Computers encrypt the sender's number so it remains anonymous.
Crime Stoppers can also be contacted through Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, or by e-mail at www.wichitasedgwickcounty crimestoppers.com.
Four of the 17 homicides that have occurred so far in 2009 remain unsolved, Landwehr said.
For more on this story, see Friday's Eagle.