WPD says suspect in east Wichita SWAT situation shoots himself as he surrenders, neighbor shares concerns

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said a 43-year-old suspect in a SWAT situation shot himself as he surrendered Friday around 8:30 a.m. It happened near Kellogg and Armour. The man was rushed to the hospital but later died.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy stopped a vehicle near I-235 and Central late Thursday because of a traffic violation. The deputy discovered the man had an outstanding warrant in a case of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

The deputy tried to arrest the man and that’s when the sheriff’s office says the man drove away. The deputy chased the vehicle for a few minutes but then lost sight of him.

Law enforcement officers later found the empty vehicle near Mead and Bayley. Through tips and information, they learned the suspect was at a hotel near Kellogg and Armour. They made contact with the suspect who had barricaded himself in a room.

The sheriff’s office says the suspect refused to come out and told deputies he had a handgun. The SWAT team was called and negotiated with the man for several hours.

Just before 8:30 a.m., he told them he would surrender.

“The SWAT negotiators were able to build a rapport with him, and the suspect did agree to surrender and advised that he was exiting the room,” said Wichita Police Officer Paul Cruz. “The suspect, who was armed with the handgun, grabbed the handgun and then shot himself.”

Nobody else was hurt. The two motels in that area have been the site of multiple crimes.

Leah Plush shared she lived near the two motels for four years and the crime in the area has continued to be a problem. She said she often sees concerns during her daily walks with her dog.

“I walk her by there every day we either start or finish in that location always seeing people sitting around on the backside — there is drug needles lots of trash and debris that not normal trash and debris,” said Plush.

The City and WPD have been aware of an increase in crime in the area. More than two months ago, the city sent nuisance letters to both the Red Roof Inn Plus and the Sky Palace. The letter gives the businesses 12 months to work to fix the problems or else the city will begin billing the motels for the excessive hours to work crimes in the area.

Since the start of the year, there have been 53 cases including robbery, shootings, larceny, battery, and drug cases. They’re continuing to investigate the frequency of cases since the nuisance letters were sent.

Plush said she is glad to hear efforts are underway to clean up the area. “I just want it to be clean and safe for everyone in the neighborhood, so if the police officer sees something and there is enough complaints maybe something will be done,” she said.

KSN reached out to both of the motels but they both declined to comment about what happened in this incident or the ongoing crime in the area.

Police said some hotel rooms were evacuated.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office is also involved in the case.

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