1 injured in shooting at convenience store; district schools go under brief lockout

By Tim Weideman

One person was injured in a shooting Wednesday afternoon at the Hop-n-Skip convenience store at the corner of Kimball Avenue and Tuttle Creek Boulevard.

At the scene, Officer Matthew Droge said that at about 1:04 p.m., the Riley County Police Department received a call for shots fired at the store.

“We can confirm that there was a shooting, one person was injured and it appears to be an isolated incident – meaning that there shouldn’t be any increased fear to the public as a result of this incident,” he said.

Droge added that the person was transported from the scene by personal vehicle to Mercy Regional Health Center. The victim was later flown by helicopter to another hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. 

At 4:21 p.m. Wednesday, police confirmed via Twitter that a person had been taken into custody.

Police haven’t released the names of those involved.

Store employees didn’t know exactly what had happened when police arrived on scene.

“I didn’t hear no gun shot, and I was right there,” store clerk Joalyson Lowe said.

Lowe said one man involved had come inside the store to prepay for gas. He was going to put $40 worth of gas in a silver pickup truck, which also had a ladder.
But the man didn’t return to his truck after going outside.

Lowe said the man eventually began running frantically in and out of the store, telling her to issue a refund for the gas. The man told her he couldn’t fill up because he had just seen a person with a maroon Mercury Marquis who had stolen some things from his home and truck in an earlier incident.

“He was like, ‘I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! I gotta go because I just saw the people,’” Lowe said.

The man then left the store without a refund.

Lowe’s description of the man’s truck matches one issued over police radio. Dispatch also indicated the Marquis was seen heading south on Tuttle Creek Boulevard after the shooting.

Lowe said surveillance video from the store shows the incident occurred near the car wash next to the fuel pumps.

The store’s owner showed the video to police officers, who remained on scene to investigate and interview possible witnesses.

The Mercury was unable to confirm with police who fired a shot and who was injured.

“That stuff I can’t really get into right now,” Droge said.

As police investigated the incident, all USD 383 schools went into lockout for a short time on Wednesday afternoon.

Police asked the district to go into lockout — meaning that all the buildings’ exterior doors are locked and no one can enter or exit — at 1:15 p.m.

“We were only in lockout for about 10 minutes,” district communications coordinator Michelle Jones said. Jones said police asked for the lockout because they wanted the schools to be secured while they tried to locate the shooter.

The district sent out an email telling parents about the lockout. It said that some of the elementary schools were in the process of dismissing students because it was an early-release day. At some schools, parents and students who were leaving were pulled back inside for a while during the time the lockout was in effect, it said.

The email said police apprehended the suspect within about 15 minutes of the lockout being called.

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