WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said a 50-year-old man and 33-year-old woman were sent to the hospital after a shooting in downtown.
A passerby on a bicycle found them on the west side of Broadway near Lewis at 8 a.m. Sunday.
The woman suffered critical injuries and underwent surgery after being shot one time in the back. A man suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot in the legs five times.
Police said they arrested 45-year-old Dexter Solomon on suspicion of two counts of attempted first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
“While officers were investigating the incident, Mr. Solomon began calling 911, family and local media stations indicating his involvement in the shooting and that the victims were working for what he believed was the cartel,” said Capt. Brent Allred, Wichita Police Department. “Through the investigation, Solomon was experiencing a mental health crisis induced by narcotics.”
Police said methamphetamine may have had a part to play in Solomon’s mental crisis. They are trying to determine how Solomon was able to get a gun.
Local non-profit organizations said they are already working to help bring awareness to mental health within the homeless population.
“Unfortunately, you do deal with a large percentage of homeless who are dealing with a mental illness,” said Seth Nesmith with the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas (MHA). “Also, dealing with some sort of substance abuse disorder and they’re just kind of falling through the cracks.”
Nesmith said MHA and other organizations work closely with the WPD Homeless Outreach Team to provide resources to homeless people who need help with a mental illness.
“With nobody there to guide them and not understanding what resources there are, it’s very easy for them to go down that road,” said Nesmith.
The investigation is ongoing, and the case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.