Crime & Courts

Man charged in fatal shooting last month near Central, Hillside

JaRon V. Sanders, 26, was shot and killed in the 600 block of North Erie, north of this corner, on Feb. 21.
JaRon V. Sanders, 26, was shot and killed in the 600 block of North Erie, north of this corner, on Feb. 21. The Wichita Eagle

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 23-year-old man with second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting last month near Central and Hillside.

Travis Montez Johnson is also facing a count of criminal possession of a firearm in the case. He is accused of killing JaRon V. Sanders, 26, who was shot once in the head as he stood in the street in front of his house in the 600 block of North Erie shortly after 5 a.m. on Feb. 21.

Johnson was arrested at a house in the 1300 block of South Bleckley shortly after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police records show. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, booking records show.

Johnson wore a white T-shirt rather than the usual jail garb during his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court via a video link from the jail Wednesday afternoon. He glanced through paperwork at District Judge Jeff Goering advised him of the charges.

He said “yes, sir” and “no, sir” in response to questions from the judge.

Johnson also was charged with crimes in three other cases Wednesday: with violating his probation in a 2014 case, with criminal possession of a weapon in a 2015 case, and with an offender registration violation in another 2015 case.

Goering set a total of $400,000 in bonds for Johnson across the four cases during his first appearance hearing.

He is due back in court March 16.

Johnson was identified as a suspect as a result of “interviewing numerous people that were on scene” when the shooting occurred, Wichita police Lt. Jeff Gilmore said Wednesday. It was all part of “an extensive field investigation that followed up over several days,” he said.

Police have said Sanders had hosted a party at his house earlier on Saturday. After many people had left, an argument broke out in the street between Sanders and another person.

Sanders was shot once in the head and died at the scene, police have said.

Motive, suspect unknown in fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man early Sunday morning. Video by Stan Finger

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

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