A 16-year-old Wichita boy who was shot in the head by a customer during a gas station robbery had a gun when he was shot, police said.
Wichita police did not say whether the 16-year-old was moving toward or away from the customer when he was shot. They would not describe the position of the customer relative to the teen.
“It’s an active investigation. We’re not going to go into the details of that,” Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson said Wednesday.
Here’s what police have said so far: Around 2:45 p.m. on Friday, police were called to a shooting at B and H Fast Trips, 2796 S. Seneca, a gas station and convenience store near 26th and Seneca in south Wichita. Four people had “entered the store, pointed handguns at an employee and customers, and demanded money,” Wichita police said in a news release.
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They took money and cigarettes and stole a wallet from a customer, police said.
The teen was shot by a 42-year-old male customer who pulled his gun and fired multiple shots at the alleged robbers. Police said the 42-year-old had been robbed before he shot.
The other three suspects fled the store, police said.
A police report lists the teen’s death as a justifiable homicide.
Kansas is among states that say citizens who are in a place lawfully have no legal duty to retreat from an attacker. Killings are justifiable when a person reasonably believes deadly force is necessary to prevent death or extreme harm to self or others.
“In our state here in Kansas, we do have open carry and carry concealed,” Wichita police Lt. Chris Halloran said at the scene. “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.”
Wichita police said this robbery is related to an earlier robbery just after noon on Friday at the Family Dollar Store, 936 S. Woodlawn. In that case, three people held up an employee at gunpoint and took money and cigarettes.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested Sunday on suspicion of three counts of aggravated robbery in connection to the armed robberies. Police are still searching for two other known suspects, Davidson said. He did not identify them.
Police are asking anyone who has information about either crime to call Wichita police detectives at 316-268-4407 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111. Crime Stoppers tips that lead to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.