Crime & Courts

Standoff ends with arrest of suspect sought in fatal March shooting

Police at the scene in the 1700 block of South Roanoke. (March 3, 2016)
Police at the scene in the 1700 block of South Roanoke. (March 3, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

After a standoff lasting several hours, law enforcement officials arrested a man connected to a fatal shooting last month in southeast Wichita.

Joshua Thomas was taken into custody shortly after 6 a.m. in the backyard of a house in the 600 block of South Brookside, Wichita poolice Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said. That’s near Kellogg and Edgemoor.

Thomas had been identified as a suspect in the killing of Brandon Walters, 35, at his home in the 1700 block of South Roanoke on the night of March 3. Walters was shot inside his home near Harry and Edgemoor, then staggered outside and collapsed in the yard, police have said.

Special Community Action Team officers received information about where a woman linked to Walters lives, Woodrow said, so they went to her residence shortly after 1 a.m. As they were approaching the home, they spotted Thomas leaving a detached garage.

Thomas saw the officers and ran into the house, Woodrow said. The standoff began, prompting the Wichita/Sedgwick County SWAT team to be called out.

During the standoff, a total of three adults and four children exited the house and two adults came out of the detached garage, Woodrow said. Officers were told at one point that Thomas may have gone up into the attic of the house.

When the SWAT team went into the house and up into the attic, Woodrow said, they found Thomas there. While trying to escape, Thomas fell through the attic floor to the ground floor of the house. He then dove out a window to the backyard of the property but was apprehended there shortly after 6 a.m.

Records show he was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly after 6 a.m. on suspicion of second-degree murder. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

Wichita police Lt. Jeff Allen says the circumstances behind finding a man's body in the front yard of a house in the 1700 block of South Roanoke are unknown as of late Thursday evening. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle)

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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