1 hospitalized, 2 questioned in shooting at Commodore Hotel

An argument at a downtown Wichita apartment building early Friday morning culminated in a shooting that left one person in the hospital with a gunshot wound, authorities said.

The shooting was reported shortly before 1:45 a.m. at the Commodore Hotel, 222 E. Elm, Lt. Doug Nolte said.

The victim, a 34-year-old man, was taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis in critical condition with what a police report stated was a through-and-through gunshot wound to the abdomen. The man got into an argument with another resident of the building, Nolte said.

The argument turned physical and at one point the younger man had the older man on the floor on his back and was beating him repeatedly, Nolte said. A woman who was witnessing the attack obtained a gun – listed in the police report as a 9mm Ruger –and gave it to the man being beaten, he said.

The older man then shot the victim once. The victim then went to a nearby apartment and asked for help, Nolte said. He is expected to survive the wound.

Evidence indicates “he had been drinking heavily,” Nolte said of the man who was shot. “Our ability to talk to him was hindered by that.”

Police still aren’t sure what prompted the dispute that led to the fight and then the shooting, he said.

The man who fired the shot and the 42-year-old woman who gave him the gun were taken to City Hall for questioning, Nolte said. Evidence in the shooting will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

“It could be a case of self-defense,” Nolte said, though it will be up to the district attorney’s office to determine that.