Archive for Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Nightclub shooter eludes police

April 16, 2002


— Police were searching for a man who walked into a nightclub and opened fire, killing one man and critically injuring another.

Two other people who were hit by bullets in the shooting early Sunday morning at the Paradise Restaurant and Club were treated and released from a hospital, police said.

Several other people, including two police officers, were injured in fights that came after the shootings.

Wichita Police Lt. John Speer issued a plea Sunday afternoon for one of the 200 to 300 people who were at the club to identify the person who shot and killed Timothy Cooper, 23, as he stood on the edge of the dance floor.

Club owner Robert Forbes said police initially handled the shooting badly by quickly clearing the club of potential witnesses and allowing the shooting suspect to get away.

Speer declined to comment on the allegation and would not speculate on how the suspect got away even though police were at the club when the shooting happened.

Speer said the shooting was gang-related and that the club has been the scene of numerous problems.

Two officers were in the parking lot about 1 a.m., preparing for a routine club check, when a person who had been shot in the arm came running out asking for help.

Police had trouble securing the scene, Speer said. The fights with officers inside the club delayed emergency workers who were trying to get into the building.

Cooper died at Via Christi Medical Center-St. Francis Campus from multiple chest wounds.

A 26-year-old man remained in critical condition Sunday evening with multiple gun shots to the back.

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