A documented gang member arrested in the killings of two men in the parking lot of a south Wichita bar and grill has been charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
Ishmael J. Bryant, 29, made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday afternoon in connection with the Jan. 10 killings of 28-year-old Andrew M. Smith and 32-year-old Quentin T. Brown at the Place, 4859 E. Harry. The criminal complaint filed in the case accuses Bryant of “unlawfully and knowing upon an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified use of deadly force” in the fatal shootings.
Prosecutors also charged Bryant with one count of criminal possession of a firearm. He is due back in court Feb. 3 for a preliminary hearing.
Police have said an argument between Bryant, Brown and a 36-year-old man inside of the club early the morning of Jan. 10 spilled out into the parking lot and culminated in the shootings when Bryant pulled and fired a gun. All three men involved in the argument are documented gang members, Lt. Todd Ojile told reporters last week. Bryant, he said, was affiliated with a different gang than the other two.
Smith, a bystander, was hit by three bullets as he was leaving the bar and later died at Wesley Medical Center, police have said. Brown was struck in the chest and also died at Wesley.
The 36-year-old man involved in the argument and another bystander also were hospitalized after being hit by gunfire; they were treated and released.
A Crime Stoppers tip that gave Bryant’s name and an address led to his arrest. He remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $500,000 bond.
Bryant was dressed in a green jail jumpsuit on Tuesday during his hearing. He answered “Yes, your honor,” when District Judge Joe Kisner asked whether Bryant understood the charges.
On a financial affidavit filed with the court, Bryant indicated he had been unemployed for a year. He listed three dependents – a girlfriend and two children.
Records show Bryant has prior convictions for drug possession and criminal threat.