Twin Lakes shooting suspect pleads not guilty
After Ricky Wirths – armed with a handgun he carried in a portfolio – went to a state office and critically wounded a tax agent, he made two brief phone calls, says a police affidavit released Friday.
Wirths told one acquaintance: “Take care of my employees and kids because I just killed a guy,” the affidavit said. “No, I’m serious. I’m done. I lost it.”
He also allegedly told one of his employees: “I just shot somebody. Thank you for all of your hard work.”
The affidavit written by a detective offers a narrative about what police learned as they investigated the shooting. Earlier this week, Wirths pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder. The 52-year-old remains in jail on a $500,000 bond as he awaits his trial.
The victim – 35-year-old Cortney Holloway – told a detective investigating the shooting that while working as a civil tax enforcement agent for the Kansas Department of Revenue, a tax warrant was served to Wirths at his home near 35th North and Arkansas.
Some of Wirths property was seized by the Kansas Department of Revenue. He owed about $400,000, the state has said.
About two hours later, Wirths came to the Department of Revenue office in the Twin Lakes shopping center near 21st and Amidon.
Wirths stood at the front door of the office and held a black portfolio.
The front glass doors to the office building “are secured and require an employee of the business to electronically unlock the front door,” the affidavit said.
Holloway said that he was told that Wirths was there to talk with him. After Holloway went to speak with Wirths about the tax warrant, the affidavit said, Wirths asked Holloway, “Why did you take my money? Why did you take my stuff?”
Wirths drew a handgun from the portfolio he was holding and started firing, it said.
Holloway was hit multiple times.
The wounded tax agent “fled towards the back of the office as ... Wirths continued to fire … at him.”
Holloway retreated into a supervisor’s office, where other employees started to tend to his gunshot wounds.
He was wounded in the right side of his upper chest, his left thigh, his left middle finger and his right arm.
A 40-year-old woman told a detective that she let Wirths into the building when she saw him at the front door. He approached her workstation counter, said he was “Rick Wirths” and asked to speak to Holloway.
To the woman, Wirths didn’t appear to be agitated or distraught, the affidavit said.
Holloway came to the counter to speak with Wirths, and the woman could hear Holloway explaining to Wirths “how seized property would be applied to settle a debt” with the state.
She heard gunshots and “sought cover.”
She could see that Holloway was wounded.
He crawled away from the front of the office.
A 40-year-old employee was at his workstation and “heard gunshots coming from inside the building ... heard someone yelling for help and followed a blood trail leading from the front of the office building to a supervisor’s office,” the affidavit continues.
As the employee tried to help the wounded Holloway, he asked Holloway “who had shot him and (Holloway) replied, ‘Rick Wirths shot me,’” it said.
A 55-year-old man who was an acquaintance of Wirths received a call from him – asking for a favor.
Wirths then said: “Take care of my employees and kids because I just killed a guy,” the affidavit said.
The man “did not understand what ... Wirths was talking about and as he asked for clarification ... Wirths told him, ‘No, I’m serious. I’m done. I lost it.’”
A 43-year-old man who works for Wirths also got a phone call from Wirths. The call was long enough for Wirths to say: “I just shot somebody. Thank you for all of your hard work.”
As officers got the information about the shooter’s identity and his vehicle, they went to addresses associated with Wirths, near 35th North and Arkansas.
An officer driving near one of the homes spotted a white truck matching the description, driving toward him.
“The white truck came to an abrupt stop in the roadway,” and Wirths got out.
Wirths told the officer “that he was turning himself in,” the affidavit said.
The officer arrested Wirths “without incident.”
A search of the truck yielded a black portfolio, the affidavit said.
Inside: a Glock Model 36 .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun.