WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita police said three East High School students were shot Tuesday afternoon north of the school during lunch. It happened on Spruce Street just west of Grove and Douglas around 12:30 p.m.
Police said the three suspects pulled into an alley north of Douglas off of Spruce and fired towards the victims, striking them at East High.
“We got 911 calls from citizens in the neighborhood. The neighborhoods to my left or to the north of a disturbance where gunshots were fired involving kids. Our officers got on the scene, and we contacted two kids, both of them are students over here at East High,” said Capt. Kevin Kochenderfer, Wichita Police Department.
Police say two boys were taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. They both have been treated and released. A third boy later reported a graze wound to the school nurse.
“On the injuries, one of the victims had a through-and-through to the leg and then two graze wounds,” said Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.
At least two bullets hit the school, and both ricocheted off windows and did not penetrate the building. No one inside the building was hurt.
The school was placed on lockdown. Students were at lunch and outside of the building at the time. The students were quickly rushed inside.
Police said citizens in the neighborhood provided pictures of the vehicle of interest in the shooting.
“That vehicle’s license plate that we got from witnesses was put into our Flock camera system, and we were able to track the vehicle throughout the city,” Kochenderfer said.
Police said they have arrested a 17-year-old male and two 16-year-old males in the shooting. They were located on South Roanoke Street.
“That’s where we have the three who we believe are suspects involved,” Ramsay said.
Police blocked several streets in the area as crime scene investigators processed the scene.
Meanwhile, police are still determining what led to the shooting.
“We do believe this was stemming from a beef that’s been going on for a while between the individuals involved, and this was not some random act or a targeted random shooting. It was people that, sounds like there’s been an ongoing dispute,” Ramsay said.
The department said once the investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.
PHOTO GALLERY | Shooting scene near Wichita East High School
The principal of East High School is sending out a ParentLink to let parents know what was happening.
Dear East High parents,
I wanted to follow up and provide some additional information regarding the incident that occurred at East High today. During the lunch period, two students left campus. While in the neighborhood, shots were fired and those students received non-life threatening injuries that required medical attention. The students returned to campus to receive care. A third student later reported a minor injury and was treated by our school nurse.
Concerned neighbors called 911, and we immediately put our crisis plan into action. All of the students who were outside for lunch immediately moved back into our school building.
As of this writing, the individuals responsible for this incident have been taken into custody. As the investigation is completed this afternoon, we anticipate campus being opened up for normal dismissal.
I know this is a frightening situation, and we will have our district’s crisis team available to support our students and staff this afternoon, and tomorrow as needed. We also have the full support of the Wichita Police Department as they place priority on investigating this incident.
I love our East High community, and I know we will pull together and continue to be focused on creating the safest possible environment for our students and staff. Please remain connected to the life of your children, and let them know if that if they have concerns about things that make them feel unsafe, they should reach out to a trusted adult at school. Your on-going support of East High is appreciated.
Look for updates online at KSN and KSN.com.