Crime & Courts

Owner of popular Wichita restaurant shot, killed outside his home in Benjamin Hills

The killing of 55-year-old Chuck Giles doesn’t make any sense to the person closest to him.

He was the owner of a popular north Wichita restaurant known for its comfort food and homey atmosphere — Neighbors Bar and Grill, 2315 W. 21st St.

“He was dedicated. He worked seven days a week. He never took a day off,” said Connie Schrader, who lived with Giles.

And he didn’t have any enemies, she said.

Schrader said she was in bed Friday night when she heard a tapping sound on the window. She thought it was Giles tapping to have her let him inside, she said.

Those taps turned out to be gun shots.

Giles never made it to the house. He was shot and killed in his driveway. His killer or killers have not been identified.

He started his day much the way he has since he took ownership of Neighbors in 2002. He went to work at 6 a.m., came home for an afternoon break from 2 to 3:30 and worked the dinner rush until 9 p.m.

On his way home from work, he stopped at Dillons grocery store. Then he drove to his home on Columbine Lane near 25th Street and Amidon.

Schrader said she doesn’t know if someone followed Giles home or if they were waiting for him to get home and ambushed him.

The driver’s side of the windshield was shot out, Schrader said. Giles was on the ground. She’s unsure how he got there. She said he had been robbed.

“The man would have given the shirt off his back if they’d asked for it,” Schrader said. “They didn’t have to do what they did.”

“He had a heart of gold,” she said.

If you have any information, please contact the Wichita Police Department homicide investigators at 316-268-4181 or you can report anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 316-267-2111.

Neighbors was closed Saturday, and it’s unclear when it will reopen.

“We will keep everyone posted when we will reopen,” a sign on the entrance to the restaurant says.

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Chance Swaim won the Betty Gage Holland Award in 2018 for distinguished service to honor and protect the integrity of public dialogue on America’s college campuses. He has been a news reporter for The Wichita Eagle since 2018. You can contact him at 316-269-6752 and cswaim@wichitaeagle.com.
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