Crime & Courts

Bleeding victim delivered to Wichita police after strange shooting on I-135

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

Wichita police are investigating a Monday morning shooting that occurred when three men were riding in a car on I-135 and one of them shot his fellow passenger, officials said.

Capt. Lemuel Moore said the driver of the vehicle delivered the gunshot victim, bleeding from a serious wound, to the North Patrol substation at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

From preliminary interviews with the victim and the driver, police do not think the shooting was accidental, although the motive remained unclear, Moore said.

Immediately after the shooting, the driver of the vehicle pulled off the interstate at the 21st Street off-ramp, and the suspect jumped out of the vehicle and fled.

The driver continued on to the police station at 3015 E. 21st St., near the intersection of 21st and Hillside, about a mile from the highway exit, Moore said.

Police called an ambulance and the man was transported to Wesley Medical Center in serious condition, Moore said.

“We were able to get the victim calmed down a little bit . . . He was alert, he was talking, “ Moore said late Monday morning “At this point in time, he’s probably in surgery at Wesley.”

The driver attempted to just drop off the victim and go on his way, but police at the station stopped the car and are considering him a witness to the shooting, he said.

A short time later, a Kansas Highway Patrol officer took the suspected shooter into custody and turned him over to Wichita police. A small-caliber handgun was also recovered, Moore said.

Moore credited the driver with possibly saving the shooting victim’s life by taking him straight to the police station, where he could get emergency first aid while waiting for an ambulance.

“Instead of the driver panicking and continuing to drive, or just dumping this person off somewhere, allowing him to actually have a fighting chance (to survive) is fantastic,” Moore said.

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Senior Journalist Dion Lefler has been providing award-winning coverage of local government, politics and business in Wichita for 20 years. Dion hails from Los Angeles, where he worked for the LA Daily News, the Pasadena Star-News and other papers. He’s a father of twins, director of lay servant ministries in the United Methodist Church and plays second base for the Old Cowtown vintage baseball team.
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