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Archive for Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Police theory: Wrong house was targeted in shooting

December 5, 2001

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— Police say shots that killed a woman as she slept during the weekend may have been fired by gang members who targeted the wrong house.

LaQuisha Hayes, 21, was shot early Sunday as she and two children, 2 and 8, were sleeping on a couch. Police said someone walked up to her home on Wichita's south side and began shooting through a front window.

Hayes, struck in the head, was pronounced dead at a Wichita hospital.

Lt. Ken Landwehr said nine people were in the home when the shooting occurred and that none had gang affiliations. He said there are gang members living on the block.

"It's possible that they targeted the wrong house," Landwehr said of the shooters.

He said a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper driving on Interstate 135 heard the shots about 3 a.m. Sunday. The trooper notified dispatchers, who sent Wichita Police to the area. As officers were checking the neighborhood, Landwehr said, someone from Hayes' home ran outside and flagged one of them down.

Landwehr said the shooter or shooters used a medium-caliber handgun and were gone by the time officers arrived. He said the curtains in the home were closed, so it was unlikely the shooters could have seen inside.

He said detectives had no suspects or motive for the shooting.

Hayes had lived in the house with her mother, Deborah Hayes, for 11 years, said her aunt, Linda Love.

Love said the two were best friends, spending evenings together shopping or playing bingo.

That her niece was likely an innocent victim of a gang dispute only adds to the family's anguish, Love said.

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