Crime & Courts

Restaurant owner fatally shot Friday was likely targeted, police say

Police said Monday they think a popular Wichita restaurant owner shot and killed in the driveway of his Benjamin Hills home over the weekend was targeted.

“We don’t believe this was a random incident. We believe that it was a targeted event ... based on Mr. Giles having money,” Wichita Police Capt. Brent Allred told reporters during a news briefing Monday morning. The killer or killers have not been found.

Charles “Chuck” Giles, owner of the Neighbors Bar and Grill at 2315 W. 21st St., was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds outside of his home late Friday night. Allred said Monday that investigators think one or more people approached Giles after he pulled into his driveway sometime around 10:20 p.m. Friday and fired a handgun at him.

It’s unclear whether the suspect or suspects followed Giles, 55, home from Neighbors. Allred said Giles had left the restaurant and was headed to his home, in the 2100 block of West Columbine, shortly before he was killed.

Police have said the motive was robbery. Money was stolen from Giles but Allred refused to say whether any other property was missing. Police are looking for surveillance video that might show Giles’ movements from the time he left Neighbors restaurant on Friday night until he arrived home to see if he had been followed and, if so, by whom.

Tracking down and getting copies of that video “is going to take several days,” Allred said. He said investigators talked to 12 to 15 people immediately after Giles’ slaying, including his employees and family members.

But there are more to interview, he said.

“This is a very active investigation. We still have people to talk to.”

Connie Schrader, who lived with Giles, told The Eagle over the weekend that Giles went to work at 6 a.m. Friday, returned home for a break from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and then worked the dinner rush until 9 p.m. He stopped by a Dillons grocery store before going home for the night, she said.

Schrader said she was in bed Friday night when she heard what sounded like tapping on her window. She said that when she went outside, Giles was on the ground and the driver’s side of his windshield was shot out.

Giles’s body was found outside of his vehicle when police were sent to the home Friday night. But Allred said he doesn’t know whether Giles was inside or outside of the vehicle when he was approached.

The Wichita Police Department is asking anyone with information about the killing to contact its homicide section at 316-268-4181 or Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

“We are asking that anyone with information that would help investigators to please call,” Allred said.

Giles’ death is the city’s 19th homicide of the year. It’s the 15th criminal homicide, which doesn’t include on-duty officer-involved, accidental or justified killings.

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.