Crime & Courts

Police: Shootings gang-related

Police said Thursday they are trying to stem an apparent gang feud that erupted with a shooting death at an apartment complex earlier this week.

Deputy chief Tom Stolz said that the shooting death of Thomas Bolden, 21, on Monday appears to be related to a drive-by shooting across town three hours later.

Bolden was shot several times at about 11:40 a.m. Monday at the Fox Run Apartments, 1157 S. Webb.

Police learned about a drive-by shooting at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the 1600 block of North Hydraulic. Although several residents fled the scene, some have been identified as gang members.

Through anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers, intelligence by police gang units on the street and other sources, Stolz said it appears the two incidents are gang activity.

"We've gotten a flood of calls saying Hydraulic and Webb are related," Stolz said.

Police are asking the public for more information.

"We need specifics," Stolz said. "Someone knows who this is. These are someone's kids, brothers, sisters or acquaintances.

"We need to act on this before another 21-year-old is killed needlessly."

Police have tied a green sport-utility vehicle, either a Mercury Mountaineer or Ford Explorer, with what Stolz described as "fancy spoked wheels" to the drive-by shooting.

Stolz said police want to keep the feud from escalating. Gang violence has been down in Wichita this year.

Incidents of gang-related drive-by shootings are down 77 percent, assaults with weapons down 40 percents and homicides cut by 90 percent compared to this time last year, Stolz said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 911, the homicide section at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Tips can also be submitted online at www.wsccs.com, or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with TIP217.

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