Police: Overnight Murder May Be Drug Related

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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Thursday, May 14

Wichita police investigating the city's tenth homicide of 2009 say the crime may be drug related.

Just before 2:00 Thursday morning, officers say two masked men broke into the second floor apartment of 224 S. Kansas and opened fire. A 44-year-old man was shot multiple times in the chest, according to police reports. He died a short time later at Via Christi St. Francis.

Lt. Ken Landwehr says the shooting may have started as an attempted robbery. Detectives believe the residence was a drug house. Landwehr says the victim lived inside the apartment where he was shot.

Police also say as many as seven other people may have been in the apartment at the time of the break-in. One man was shot in the leg, and another was pistol whipped. Both are expected to be okay.

Landwehr hopes others in the apartment who left the scene will come forward.

"We would like to talk to them," Landwehr told reporters Thursday morning. "See if they have any information to help us identify the suspects."

The suspects are described as two African-American men wearing masks and dark clothing. The first suspect is 5'9", 170 lbs, and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

The second suspect is about 6'3" and 220-250 lbs.

"I heard the sirens and I heard the news," said neighbor Kathy Cockrum. "I just decided to stay in my house."

Cockrum says she's not surprised to hear the shooting may be connected to drug activity inside the brownstone four-plex.

"We've heard rumors about that ever since we moved here a couple of years ago," Cockrum said. "Some of the apartments down here have people who do drugs."

KAKE News contacted Key Management, who took over the building about a year ago. A spokesperson says neighbors never complained of drug activity, and that police would have been called immediately if the management company had known.

Wichita PD's Patrol East also said there had been no major incidents at the building until Thursday's shooting.

Wichita police have not yet released the shooting victim's identity, saying they still must locate and notify his family.

Anybody with information in the case is urged to call police at 268-4181.

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