Crime & Courts

Gang member accused of firing shotgun in McDonald’s drive-through clash

A 20-year-old gang member has been arrested and accused of firing a shotgun at a car in a west Wichita McDonald’s drive-through lane earlier this month.

Isaac Pankratz faces four counts of aggravated battery and is jailed on a $200,000 bond awaiting his preliminary hearing, which has been set for Feb. 11. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail late Monday morning.

According to a court affidavit filed in connection with a federal charge against Sean Costa, he was a passenger in a Chevy TrailBlazer that went through the McDonald’s drive-through at Dugan next to West Kellogg on the morning of Jan. 9. A 1990 Buick LeSabre struck the rear bumper of the TrailBlazer when it cut in front of the Buick.

When the Buick exited, a woman left the driver’s seat of the TrailBlazer and threw a tire tool that hit the side of the Buick, occupied by a female driver and a male passenger, the affidavit said. About the same time, a man exited a rear passenger door of the TrailBlazer and fired a shotgun blast that hit the post between the doors on the driver’s side of the Buick.

Wichita police think Pankratz, who is a documented gang member, is the man who fired the blast. No one was injured by the gunfire.

Costa faces a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a shotgun. Investigators found the 12-gauge shotgun at a west Wichita home where Costa and his girlfriend were staying during a search triggered by the McDonald’s incident, the affidavit said.

Costa’s girlfriend, Melissa Palacios, 27, faces four counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal possession of a firearm in connection with the McDonald’s incident. She is being held on $250,000 bond and her preliminary hearing is slated for Feb. 28.

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