WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After the city’s 19th homicide on Sunday, community leaders in Wichita are urging others to end the violence.
“This has been going on too long,” said Roosevelt DeShazer Sr., pastor of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.
22-year-old Elbert Costello Jr. was shot several times in what police are calling gang-related gunfire.
“The investigation revealed an exchange of gunfire between two groups of people occurred in the parking lot,” said Lt. Chad Beard, Wichita Police Department.
The victim’s father, Elbert Costello Sr., tells KSN he’s still processing the loss of his son who was a father and man known by many.
Costello Sr. made a post of social media asking the public to avoid retaliation and save other parents the heartbreak of losing a child.
“It’s time out for this senseless killing of our children,” said DeShazer.
Wichita community leaders are working to send the same message as the Costello family.
“Give them other things to do than the things they’re doing with drugs and gangs and trying to be part of something,” said Herman Hicks, pastor of Greater Pentecostal COGIC. “We need to do a better job.”
Leaders have created the See Something, Say Something Community Hotline to give people people another way to report information.
“This is monitored by the community,” said Lavonta Williams, former city council member. “This is not monitored by the police. This is a community-driven project because we care about our communities.”
People in Wichita are working to empower neighborhoods while promoting positive change.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late,” said Hicks. “Don’t wait until we have another death in our community for us to get our rage out. We need to stop and do something now.”
The See Something, Say Something Hotline is an anonymous tip line. The number is 316-519-2282.
If you have any information about the shooting death of Costello Jr., contact Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.
Other tip lines include the Wichita Police Gang Felony Assault line at 316-268-4191 or the Violent Crime Hotline at 316-519-2282.
The other shooting victim, a 24-year-old man, is still recovering in the hospital in serious condition.