By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV/AP) -
A 26-year-old Lawrence man is dead after two men exchanged gunfire following a confrontation at a Mother's Day barbecue.
Police were called to an apartment complex near East 13th Street and Haskell Avenue about 6 p.m. Sunday in response to a shooting.
When officers arrived, the victim already had been transported by family members to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he died. The man has been identified as Charles T. Brockman of Lawrence.
Officers received descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle, and a Douglas County sheriff's deputy took the man into custody shortly afterward.
A witness says about 35 people were at the cookout when Brockman arrived. Police say he exited a vehicle carrying a shotgun.
"One individual whom Mr. Brockman had a previous dispute with ran toward the second floor of the apartment building where he attempted to enter one of the apartments. Several individuals intervened and attempted to convince Mr. Brockman to put the weapon down and leave, however, he did not," according to a statement from the Lawrence Police Department. "Mr. Brockman then ran towards the apartment building with the shotgun as children and adults began to scatter."
The man who Brockman was pursuing had a pistol which he fired from a second floor near a stairway.
Brockman may have also fired his shotgun.
Chante Dillon is devastated by the death of her cousin. She was just steps away when the fatal gunfire was fired.
"He didn't deserve to go like that. He didn't deserve to die," she said. "He was more than a cousin. He was my brother. He was my best friend."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 785-830-7430.
Misty Nichols said she is taking her children and moving out because of the gunfire. The bullet holes punctured an area near where her children play.
"It really scared me because it happened right here at my doorstep," she said. "We're packing up and leaving because I can't take that chance with my kids."
Since July, Lawrence police have worked six apparent homicides. This is up from the average of two.
Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley said the department has seen "more than our fair share" of violence since last July. Drugs are at the heart of quite a bit of the crime, police say.
Some residents believe felons who shouldn't have guns are causing much of the recent violence.
Lawrence resident Tim Brown said he believes Lawrence remains a safe community to live in.
"It's a good community and I think it's a strong enough community to bond together to figure out a way to deal with this situation," Brown said.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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