Crime & Courts

Customer shoots armed robber in his ‘head area’ at south Wichita gas station, police say

Police: Customer shoots armed robber at south Wichita gas station

Wichita police Lt. Chris Halloran said a customer at a south Wichita gas station and convenience store shot and critically injured one of four robbers Friday afternoon. Three robbers ran away. (Dec. 28, 2018)
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Wichita police Lt. Chris Halloran said a customer at a south Wichita gas station and convenience store shot and critically injured one of four robbers Friday afternoon. Three robbers ran away. (Dec. 28, 2018)

One person was critically injured in a shooting during an armed robbery in south Wichita on Friday afternoon, officials said.

Wichita police were called to the 2700 block of South Seneca at around 2:44 p.m. for a reported armed robbery, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. One shooting victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition, the supervisor said.

Lt. Chris Halloran said a customer at the checkout counter of the B and H Fast Trips convenience store shot at least one of four people trying to rob the store.

“A customer was in line when four individuals came in at gunpoint and demanded money,” he said. “The citizen also got robbed and the citizen pulled a gun and shot at the suspects.”

Several shots were reportedly fired, but it is unknown whether the suspects returned fire, police said.

At least one of the suspects was shot and was still at the crime scene when officers arrived. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition after he was shot once in the head, Halloran said.

The three other suspects — described by police as young males — were last seen running east on 31st Street South.

The customer who fired the shots was not injured and is cooperating with police, as are other witnesses, Halloran said. The suspects took the customer’s wallet and cash from the store.

“In our state here in Kansas, we do have open carry and carry concealed,” Halloran said. “So individuals breaking the law may never know when someone in line at a store, in this example, (has a gun). That’s what happened in this case.”

Seneca is a busy street, Halloran said, and it is unknown whether the crime was relevant to the area. The suspects may have picked a business at random, he said.

Lt. Chris Halloran, the Rangemaster in the Wichita police Training Bureau, told the Citizen Review Board that police shoot to eliminate the threat, not to kill, and Hollywood movies "make it look glamorous to shoot bad guys."

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Jason Tidd is a reporter at The Wichita Eagle covering breaking news, crime and courts.


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