Crime & Courts

Victim in state Revenue building shooting is employee, police say

'A guy with a gun was trying to go inside but somebody locked the doors on him.'

Oscar Rodriguez received a phone call from his mother who was at the DMV when a shooting occurred at the Twin Lakes Shopping Center in north Wichita.
Up Next
Oscar Rodriguez received a phone call from his mother who was at the DMV when a shooting occurred at the Twin Lakes Shopping Center in north Wichita.

Updated: 5:47 p.m.: The man arrested in connection with the shooting of a Department of Revenue employee Tuesday afternoon owes nearly $200,000 in unpaid taxes, records show.

The 52-year-old suspect was arrested about a half-hour after the shooting inside the state office building at 21st and Amidon. He was stopped by law enforcement officers on 35th Street North just west of Arkansas, down the street from his house.

The suspect owes $196,455.36 for four tax periods spanning 2012 to 2015, according to the tax warrant filed on June 1.

Updated: 5:37 p.m.: The man shot at the Department of Revenue building at 21st and Amidon on Tuesday afternoon is an employee who may have been involved in an investigation of the suspected gunman earlier in the day, Wichita police said. The shooting took place around 2:40 p.m. inside of the taxation side of the building, which was involved in the investigation, Officer Charley Davidson said.

Police investigate a shooting at the Kansas Department of Revenue at 1800 N. Amidon Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (Video by Fernando Salazar)

Davidson said the employee, who is 35, was shot several times by the gunman, who then fled. The gunman was taken into custody about 30 minutes later on 35th Street North just west of Arkansas. He was arrested in a white pickup just down the street from his house in the 900 block of West 35th Street North, police Sgt. Chad Beard said. The house is in a quiet, older neighborhood with well-kept houses.

The suspect lives only a few houses down the street from his parents, a friend of the family said. Two vehicles blocked the driveway of the suspect’s parents’ home as law enforcement officers talked to neighbors following the shooting.

Davidson said the shooting was not random, and the public is not in danger. He did not release further information about the gunman. Authorities were not looking for any additional suspects on Tuesday afternoon, Davidson said.

The employee was in critical condition when he was taken to a Wichita hospital for treatment.

Updated 3:15 p.m.: Wichita police have taken into custody a person suspected of carrying out a shooting in the area of 21st and Amidon shortly before 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to emergency radio traffic.

The victim, reportedly a 35-year-old man, suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, leg and finger, according to radio traffic. He was taken to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis by ambulance not long after Sedgwick County Emergency Communications received the first 911 call about the shooting.

By 3:15 p.m. Tuesday – about half an hour after the shooting – there are more than a dozen police and fire vehicles with emergency lights flashing on the southeast corner of 21st and Amidon. Police had used yellow crime scene tape to mark off the parking lot in front of the building. They were outside of offices that say Kansas Department of Revenue, with “Taxation” on one side and “Driver’s License” on the other.

First responders there were standing and talking in clusters.

Oscar Rodriguez, 42, who was at the shooting scene Tuesday afternoon, said his mother was inside of the building, standing in line to get an identification card when a man with a gun tried to get inside the building and someone locked the doors to try to keep him out. Rodriguez said his mother, who called family during the mayhem, said someone was telling people inside of the building to take cover under desks and tables.

His mother, he said, was whispering when she first called because she wasn’t sure what was happening.

“She’s safe. She still doesn’t know what’s going on,” Rodriguez said, adding that his mother said police were searching inside of the building.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Comcare office was on lockdown and not accepting clients, according to a tweet from Sedgwick County. “All employees are safe and accounted for. We’re unable to accept clients at this time,” the tweet read.

Initial story: One person is in critical condition following a shooting reported in the area of 21st and Amidon on Tuesday afternoon.

A Sedgwick County dispatcher said people inside of the driver’s license station in the 1800 block of West 21st Street reported hearing shots from inside the building. The first 911 calls came shortly before 2:45 p.m., the dispatcher said.

Emergency scanner traffic indicates one person – a 35-year-old man – has multiple gunshot wounds. Authorities were preparing to transport that person to a Wichita hospital for treatment shortly after the shooting was reported.

Police were searching for a suspect – possibly a heavy-set white man in his 40s or 50s wearing khaki, according to emergency scanner traffic.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

  Comments