Archive for Sunday, December 8, 1991

ARGUING PRECEDED ARMORY SHOOTING, HOST OF PARTY SAYS

December 8, 1991

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A man who rented the Kansas National Guard Armory for a party Friday evening said he thought a shooting there occurred between friends.

Kenneth T. Clark, 24, Topeka, was shot in the leg at 12:30 a.m. Saturday near the entrance to the armory, 200 Iowa. It was one of two shootings reported Saturday in Lawrence.

Gary Edwin, who was reached Saturday evening in Kansas City, Mo., rented the armory to hold the party.

He said, "The Topeka dudes went outside and then one of them started shooting."

Edwin said party goers from Topeka had been arguing inside the armory.

"It wasn't really a fight," Edwin said. "It was like an argument or something."

In jest, he said the people involved in the shooting "may have been listening to too much NWA." NWA is a rap group whose lyrics have been criticized for promoting racial intolerance.

EDWIN SAID he didn't know Clark or anyone else involved in the shooting.

The party, he said, was "a social gathering, something to do on the weekend." Edwin said it was the fourth party he had helped organize. He said, "We let people know" about the party.

Edwin said there were no problems at the other parties.

Lawrence police issued a statement Saturday saying they were still investigating the incident. The statement said no suspect had been identified.

Police also are investigating a shooting that occurred at 5:15 a.m. Saturday at Brandon Woods Retirement Community, 1501 Inverness. Betty Benson, a 77-year-old resident at the retirement home, was shot once in the chest.

TONY EWERT, executive director of Brandon Woods, said Saturday afternoon that police had told him they thought the shooting was related to a burglary attempt.

Benson lived on the ground floor of the retirement community's main apartment complex.

Ewert said Brandon Woods residents were upset but seemed to be handling the incident well.

"Obviously something like this is going to shake people's well-being a bit and sense of security," Ewert said.

He said written information was distributed to each resident Saturday.

Ewert said this was the first incident of this type at the retirement community, which has 203 units. About 95 people reside in the main building where Benson lives.

Clark and Benson were listed in fair condition Saturday evening at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Benson remains in the intensive care unit.

Police said they would release no further information about either shooting until Monday.

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