Crime & Courts

Charges filed in 'ambush-style attack' on off-duty officer at Wichita movie theater

Off-duty Wichita police officer shot at

Wichita police release video of shooting at off-duty police officer at the East Warren Theatre.
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Wichita police release video of shooting at off-duty police officer at the East Warren Theatre.

Prosecutors on Monday charged a 23-year-old man with a series of shootings that took place over a month — including what police have called a "ambush-style attack" on an officer working a security job outside of the east Wichita Warren Theatre this spring.

Trey Williams of Wichita is facing five felony counts of criminal discharge of a firearm, two misdemeanor counts of criminal discharge of a firearm, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal threat, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release. He's accused of carrying out five shootings — including firing five times at an off-duty Wichita police officer who was sitting in a security vehicle with flashing lights in the parking lot of the Warren, 11611 E. 13th St., around 10:45 p.m. on April 18.

Neither the officer, a police sergeant, nor his vehicle was hit by any of the bullets. Police have said a dark-colored SUV "covertly drove onto an unpaved embankment" with its headlights off and pulled behind the officer's vehicle before the gunman inside fired.

Court records identify the police officer as Robert Henning. Records say Williams "unlawfully threaten(ed) to commit violence" against Henning and that the threat was meant to cause fear.

A second charge connected to the theater shooting accuses Williams of "unlawfully and recklessly and without authorization" firing a gun at the Warren building while several movie-goers were inside.

Williams also is charged with:

  • Shooting at a man's 2015 Toyota Highlander near 13th and Greenwich on April 3. That driver was not hurt but a bullet was found lodged in the passenger door of his car

  • Shooting the front window of the Home Bank and Trust at 1409 N. Greenwich on April 4

  • Firing at an empty Wichita police patrol vehicle on April 23 while it was parked near an officer's home. Several bullets damaged the passenger-side door of the Dodge Ram R15 but no one was hurt. The shots were fired in a cul-de-sac on a Wichita street, according to court records

  • Using a handgun to shoot at a white Porsche that had someone in it in east Wichita on May 3

Court records say Williams used to work at a Braum's store near 13th and Greenwich but had been unemployed for about month when he was arrested and jailed after the May 3 shooting. He was later freed after posting $50,000 bond, the district attorney said in the news release.

Williams next court hearing is scheduled for July 26.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker