Crime & Courts

Two injured in Old Town shooting

Public parking lot in the 200 block of Rock Island (Oct. 30, 2016)
Public parking lot in the 200 block of Rock Island (Oct. 30, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

Two men were injured early Sunday in a shooting in Wichita’s Old Town.

The shooting occurred in the 200 block of Rock Island, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said at a media briefing on Sunday. A fight broke out in the street and not at any Old Town business, he said.

Officers who responded found shell casings in the street and a 34-year-old man in a nearby parking garage with gunshot wounds to the chest and arm. He also had a wound on the side of his head. He is in serious condition and is expected to survive, Livingston said.

A 28-year-old man also was injured by bullet fragments in his hip and was treated at the scene, Livingston said. He was not involved in the fight.

An Old Town club near the shooting said it closed early after what it called “an altercation” outside the business.

Revolution Lounge posted on its Facebook page: “There was an altercation that occurred outside the premises of the establishment. ... As soon as we felt that the safety of our patrons was compromised, the decision was made to close for the evening and help assist City of Wichita Law Enforcement with their investigation.”

Wichita police officers, including some on horses, keep watch over the crowds during closing time in Old Town. (Video by Oliver Morrison/The WIchita Eagle/May 7, 2016)

Police are seeking four male suspects wearing dark-colored clothing. Livingston said police think the suspects and victim knew one another and that the shooting was not random. He said the shooting could be gang related.

The suspects approached the victim and began fighting, Livingston said. “We were able to confirm only one suspect fired a weapon,” he said. Two handguns were recovered, and police are reviewing video.

The shooting should not discourage people from going to the downtown area at night, he said.

“I’d like to point out the pro-active things we are doing in Old Town and measures that have occurred,” he said. “There is a partnership with the Wichita Police Department, bar owners and Old Town Association and other businesses in the area to cut down on disturbances.”

The neighborhood bars and clubs are participating to improve safety by supplying security staff, police are providing overtime for officers to work extra-duty shifts, and more security cameras will be installed.

“We want that area to be safe,” he said. “Any incident down here is discouraging for us. But I see a lot of promise, a lot of cooperation. We can always do more and are looking at ways for improving.”

Beccy Tanner: 316-268-6336, @beccytanner, btanner@wichitaeagle.com

Julie Mah: 316-268-6597, @JulieMM, jmah@wichitaeagle.com

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