Neighbors react to airport bomb plot suspect's arrest

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email
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WICHITA, Kan. -- The possibility had never crossed their minds until FBI agents showed up at a home in their southeast Wichita neighborhood Friday morning.

"Total shock. Just total shock," Marian Malesky said.

She and others living in the 3900 block of E. Funston St. learned the home agents were searching belongs to the man accused of plotting to bomb Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport.

Loewen lived in the home with his wife, neighbors said.

"I'm just totally shocked that such a bad thing was being planned from right here," Marian Malesky said.

Malesky, 89, is a veteran who served as a sergeant in the Army Air Corps. She says she woke up to see the chaos on the street.

"I got out of bed and saw very strange lights," Malesky said.

Neighbor Greg Larmer says he couldn't believe the number of law enforcement vehicles.

"I saw SWAT, FBI, Sheriff's, everything, all up and down my street," Larmer said. "(I was) kinda shocked. I called my fiance. I called my folks. A little too close to home."

Larmer says it's also a little too close to an elementary school that is just yards from Loewen's home.

"That's scary, scary as can be," Larmer said. "What if there had been a mishap?"

Larmer, like all the neighbors who spoke with KAKE News, says he doesn't know the Loewen family very well. He says he has just seen them in passing.

"They stay to themselves, a pretty quiet family," Larmer said. "(We've had) normal, normal interactions."

Given those interactions, he and others can't believe what Loewen is accused of.

"You just never know what is going on in your neighborhood," Larmer said. "This is a peaceful, great community to live in and here it is next door."

It's unbelievable especially to Malesky, who given her military service, is highly patriotic.

"I'm amazed that there are such people living among us," Malesky.

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