Crime & Courts

Police: Victim of South Hillside shooting was 17-year-old at family event

A Wichita Police officer stands outside the entrance of a venue where a 17-year-old teenager died in a shooting early Saturday morning.
A Wichita Police officer stands outside the entrance of a venue where a 17-year-old teenager died in a shooting early Saturday morning. The Wichita Eagle

A shooting early Saturday morning killed a 17-year-old attending a family event at a South Hillside venue that is rented for parties, officials said.

Earlier Saturday, the 17-year-old male victim had been incorrectly described as a 29-year-old man.

The shooting occurred in the 1700 block of South Hillside, near Harry. There were multiple reports of gunshots around 2:45 a.m., a 911 dispatch supervisor said.

Wichita police Lt. James Espinoza gave this account on Saturday afternoon: The 911 system received a call of a medical emergency near Harry and Hillside. When police arrived, they learned that shots had been fired and that there was a 17-year-old who died. The teen was at a family event.

The investigation continues, and police are trying to identify a suspect, Espinoza said.

Investigators remained at the scene mid-day Saturday. An officer guarded a door leading down steps to what appears from a sign to be Parrot’s Party Place, beside the Parrot-fa-Nalia Unique Boutique. Signs advertise the spot as a place to rent for private parties.

The parking lot around the businesses remained encircled by crime scene tape later Saturday. A homicide detective paused in the parking lot, holding a flashlight and notebook.

A neighbor across the street from the party place said he heard the early-morning gunfire but didn’t look out because he has become accustomed to hearing gunshots at the location. In the past, he said, he has heard shots and seen party-goers scatter before police arrived.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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