A man who opened fire outside a south Wichita bar two years ago will spend more than 20 years in prison.
Ishmael J. Bryant killed two men on Jan. 10, 2015, following what authorities have said was an argument that spilled out into the parking lot of The Place, 4859 E. Harry.
Andrew Smith, 28, didn’t know Bryant but happened into his line of fire while trying to leave the bar. He was struck three times.
Quentin Brown, 32, was part of the argument, authorities have said. He was shot in the chest.
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Both died at Wesley Medical Center. Two other men hit by Bryant’s gunfire survived.
Sedgwick County District Judge Terry Pullman imposed the 247-month sentence Friday, a little more than a month after Bryant, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated battery. Pullman also ordered him to pay $25,000 to the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board to reimburse it for payouts made to his victims’ families.
When it was time for family members of those killed to address the court Friday, emotions ran high.
Smith “never went out. He’d never been in trouble” and left behind a family, his mother told the judge. Bryant “made a very deep, deep hole for me.”
“He (Bryant) should have stayed the hell home” that night, she said, choking back angry sobs.
Brown’s father told the judge he didn’t think 20 years in prison was long enough for a man who “didn’t care who he shot.” His son, who he called “a good kid” and a family man, was at the bar “just for a beer, to have a good time,” he said.
When it was Bryant’s turn to speak in court, he was apologetic but said he was trying to defend himself when he pulled the gun.
“I honestly didn’t mean for this to happen,” he told the packed courtroom.
The apology drew furious shouts and expletives from a man related to one of his victims. The judge ended up throwing him and another man who spoke up out of the courtroom and threatened to hold them in contempt. But he let them go free after the hearing was over.