Archive for Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lawrence parents fight off home invaders; one suspect arrested, one sought

A Lawrence man fought off two people who entered his house early Tuesday morning. While the man received minor injuries in the scuffle, his wife and daughter were not harmed in the incident. One of the suspects was arrested, but the other has yet to be found. Seven dollars were stolen from the house during the incident.

August 25, 2009, 10:06 a.m. Updated August 25, 2009, 2:56 p.m.


Jon Shelton had just returned home from walking his dog early Tuesday morning when two people broke into his Lawrence home, pistol-whipped him and stole money out of his pockets, all while his 3-year-old daughter was sleeping inside, he said.

First the suspects pointed the gun at his girlfriend and then at him. The situation prompted the 22-year-old to fight back.

“I tried to grab the gun, and I tried to wrestle him down to the floor,” said Shelton, who had blood stains on his clothing from the struggle. “My adrenaline was going … and I guess my objective was to either get the gun or get these two out of my house.”

Lawrence police said the home invasion and robbery occurred at 12:35 a.m. in the 300 block of West 23rd Street.

Shelton’s girlfriend, Sierra Keck, was folding their daughter’s laundry when the robbers barged in the front door, which police said had been left unlocked.

“I was just screaming, ‘Please don’t do this, my baby’s here; my daughter’s here; do not, do not do this,’” said Keck, 21.

The robbers eventually left, after a lengthy struggle that left blood stains throughout the home. They ended up getting just $7 from Shelton’s pockets.

Shelton said he recognized one of the attackers as an acquaintance from junior high school, and he identified him to police. Officers located the suspect at the Jayhawk Motel, 1004 N. Third St., and arrested him at 2:19 a.m. on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary, and criminal use of a weapon.

Officers are still searching for the second suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS hot line at (785) 843-TIPS (8477).


zettapixel 7 years ago

Good job at catching one of the suspects.

jeffds01 7 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jayhawk12 7 years ago

I'm glad nobody was hurt but one has to question why these people (tonight's incident and last night's incident) were chosen to have their houses robbed?? (money, drugs, big screen tv's, etc)

Good work LPD on catching the perp!! I think it's time we start thinking about having some town hall meetings to discuss all of this violence and the reasons/speculations behind it. What steps have the City taken to curtail some of this?

Sharon Roullins 7 years ago

Wonder if the suspects know who took all of the change out of my ashtray last night. I know it was partially my fault for leaving my window rolled down but who has the RIGHT to just reach through an open window and take something that doesn't belong to them?

commonsense 7 years ago


My car was broken into last night a few blocks N. of the Yacht Club. Last month a perp was caught in the act in our neighborhood. Wonder if he's back at it?

d_prowess 7 years ago

I wonder why the male victim tried to fight them when they had a gun? Seems awfully risky to me...

zettapixel 7 years ago

d_prowess... I would fight tooth and nail to protect my family if put in the same situation. I could totally see how the victim would fight even if the perps had a gun.

d_prowess 7 years ago

I understand your feelings zetta, but all they did was demand money. It seems that it would have been safer to give it to them and let them go. By fighting you put yourself and your family at more risk, I would think?

Ernest Barteldes 7 years ago

What kind of fool invades the home of someone he actually knows? I mean, the whole point of committing a crime is being anonymous to the victim.

zettapixel 7 years ago

I'm ready to get rid of small town politics smitty... where do I sign up?

Stuart Evans 7 years ago

if someone broke into my house & demanded money, i'd laugh. because i just don't have any. and in this day & age, most people aren't walking around with hundreds of dollars in cash on them.

These people knew that this guy would have money. either A) because he's a known dealer, or B) because they witnessed him with cash. and considering the victim knew someone who would commit a home invasion, option A doesn't seem too far fetched.

Nickie1033 7 years ago

Me and my family are safe.... please don't speculate. They demanded money, that's what they wanted and they didn't get more then $10. The fact of the matter is that my home was invaded. My little girl was sound asleep and luckly didn't come out to see the horror filling our house let alone have a gun pointed at her.... We are happy to be alive, and you all will have your opinions, but unless you've been through it you don't know what it feels like....Nor do you react the way you always thought you would.... This isn't the movies... They went to junior high together MY GOD PPL! Just thought i'd clear the air, I have that right.

Sharon Roullins 7 years ago

Nickie glad to hear that you and your family made it out of an awful situation safely.

jeffds01 7 years ago

i love when my posts are removed, for posting the perps names, information that is public knowledge, and can be looked up on the douglas county sheriffs website.

zettapixel 7 years ago

Nickie, you're ok in my book. Good job defending your family!

Nickie1033 7 years ago

Thank you! I was scared to death! He saw an oppurtunity and went for it and the result was that he got $6 dollars taken from him and 4 pistol whipps to the head. If anyone would like to hear the story we will be on the news tonight...

beawolf 7 years ago

I think we should organize a Lawrence militia.

Nickie1033 7 years ago

You know, I felt very sorry for Nickie, until I realized her talk was nothing more than a news plug. I still feel very sorry for her husband, and wish him a speedy recovery. A true hero he is!!!!

Yes he is a hero, and a news plug? How so? I cleared the air for people who were making assumptions, which you should not make such comments. Nothing cool about being held at gun point bud. not at all. I have every right to say what I have to....

otto 7 years ago


People on blogs will argue with you over what color your eyes are and they have never met you. You have the right to post and express your point. I am sorry this happened to your family. They will continue to post and poke fun any chance they get. I recommend not reading the blogs that have anything to do with you personally.

sweettrue2 7 years ago

please, this kinda thing has been going on in wholesome Lawrence for a LONG time. It's only lately that the paper has decided to start publishing this kinda news. Step outside your lovely little worlds and open up your eyes.

angel4dennis 7 years ago

Thankfully the family wasn't hurt. I am sure that justice will be served. I hope these two men learn a lesson from all this.

Eugehne Normandin 7 years ago

Carry your own gun The criminals do so why not carry one too.

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago


You're my hero for the week!

Looks like we have to be ready when our house gets invaded here in Lawrence.

I worry about what will happen when I shoot them. Will I go to prison?

kujayhawk 7 years ago

Imagine how awkward it would be to break into somebody's house, have them walk in and then realize you went to junior high with the person you are robbing.

MeAndFannieLou 7 years ago

Nikkie, can you give us a description of the other guy?

ksdivakat 7 years ago

Thank goodness everyone is ok and the little girl didnt have to witness any of it. I think that most people would have or might have done the same thing, when it comes to your children and protecting them, there isnt anything a normal parent would do, including laying their own life down for their child...good job!

jeffds01 7 years ago

this is sad, i know both victims, and the one of two perps they have caught already.

if you would like to know his name....douglas county sheriffs website under booking recap, it's pretty evident who it is on the list, (the one with 5 or so charges)

peoples get a life, glad your both ok and safe, especially the little one.

jon good job protecting your family, that's all real men can do is try to protect what is theirs or what they love.

d_prowess 7 years ago

I am still not sure why some are happy that this guy fought back. It sounds like if he would have just given the thieves the $10 he had, they would have left and he wouldn't be in the hospital.
What would people be saying if instead of just hitting him, they shot and killed him? I bet a lot more people would be saying how he should have just given them the money instead of fighting back and orphaning his daughter. I consider this guy lucky to be alive...

BlackVelvet 7 years ago

I'm glad you and you daughter were unhurt Nikki. Unfortunately, this incident give Smitty another opportunity to get up on her soapbox and proclaim her deep hatred for Ron Olin and Lawrence PD. Nothing they do will ever be good enough for her.

IrishCat 7 years ago

I too am a transplant from another area but I've been here since 1995 so I have a pretty good feel for how the city has changed in the last decade. I've raised my children here, gone to college here and worked here. My concern is that the thugs, be they from Lawrence or somewhere else, perhaps think that Lawrence is easy pickins. Grab a student downtown that is walking home from the bar, we don't want them to drive drunk so they walk, then they get mugged in the parking lot of their apartment. I'm not advocating fighting a thug and risking your life for $10 but if they think we are all just going to say sure, here, have my wallet, then we are in essence reinforcing their bad behavior. Maybe if they had to fight for that wallet it wouldn't be so appealing. To the guy that just happened to have gone to Junior High with our victim, I'd say your karma just busted you in the a**.

Jayhawk12 7 years ago


You definitely have taken my comments out of context or misunderstood my point... I firmly believe we have an excellent police department that does an outstanding job given the lack of resources we (taxpayers) and City Hall have given them.

My point is that we have had several incidents of violent crime over this past summer, which I believe, has greatly affected the opinion / attractiveness of our great city. If you dont believe me, read all of the posts that refer to "not what Lawrence use to be like"

My question is, "How are our City Commissioners and City Manager planning to help our police department combat these crimes?" Secondly, "What is the response of our police department to these crimes?" I would like to hear someone from either City Hall or the police department tell us their plans to reduce these violent crimes.

It doesn't take a genius to know that 10 officers patrolling a city of 100,000 is an understaffed police force. We need to do two things: either hire additional officers or authorize the department to pay officers overtime to patrol / concentrate on these high risks areas of town.

Nickie1033 7 years ago

No they are at KU MED Marion. In pretty bad shape but the story will unveil itself. The other guy was about 5'8 ish maybe anywhere from 140-155 he weighed less then my boyfriend. Dark shaved head, possibly white and native, mexican, or just white, but he was tan and dark haired so its hard to tell. It happened so fast. Jeffds01 I think I know who you are... If it's who I think it is who I worked with at Arbys man thank you for your support..... I just want to thank everyone.

Sigmund 7 years ago

Jayhawk12 (Anonymous) says… "It doesn't take a genius to know that 10 officers patrolling a city of 100,000 is an understaffed police force."

"As of January 1, 2005, The Lawrence Police Department was authorized to have 138 sworn police officers, 16 clerical personnel, 1 records manager, 5 parking control officers, 3 animal control officers, 3 information technology personnel, and 1 assistant to the Chief of Police. For Police Officers, as of January 1, 2006, the salary range is $37,752 - $63,419 annually."

"The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has approximately 134 full time employees of which 90 are commissioned law enforcement officers."

KUPD is a 24 hour operation employing approximately 20 commissioned law enforcement personnel. Uniformed officers patrol the campus using foot patrols and in marked police cars. . The 1997 Senate Bill No 256 authorized KU Police officers to extend their jurisdictional authority when acting in an official capacity to property immediately adjacent to the campus, and in certain circumstances, property off campus.

Latest census numbers for Lawrence is population 89,852 which varies greatly depending on when KU is in session. So how many more officers would you like and will you be paying for them yourself?

BlackVelvet 7 years ago

actually Sigmund, for what it's worth, KUPD has 29 Commissioned Officers.

Jayhawk12 7 years ago


I appreciate someone that does their homework. What you have not computed is how many of LPD's sworn officers are assigned to the Patrol Division, the number is 82 of the 138 you quoted, based on the 2010 budget. That is 27 officers per shift when the department is fully staffed, which they are not at this time.


The Douglas County Sheriff's Department has 27 of the 134 officers assigned to their patrol division, which equals 9 per shift.

KUPD has approximately 20 uniformed officers (Got this # by counting the uniforms on their web site), which equals to approximately 7 officers per shift.

Doing the math, if everyone works every day of the week and does not take a day off, sick day, vacation day, comp day, etc., Douglas County would have 43 officers working. But realistically, as I said before, LPD has roughly 10 officers working each shift, DGSO has between 3-5 per shift, and KUPD has about 3.

The data supports we need more police officers to patrol the "CITY OF LAWRENCE", which falls under the control of the LPD, not DGSO or KUPD.

And finally, you should know where I stand on my taxes. If we do not curtail this crime problem we are experiencing, then we all as a community will suffer the long term economical and sociological consequences it will bring.

Grundoon Luna 7 years ago

Jayhawklawrence, check out the Castle Doctrine.

Not fighting back? "F" that!!! Someone's going to leave a sorry S O B if they come in to my house like that.

I can't believe Marion didn't chime in with that already. . . .

murphy43 7 years ago

First of all let me say I am the Mother & Grandmother of this family!

Second: I have read all the comments posted. Granted there were some of you that showed support. However there were some comments that I would have rather not seen.

Nickie1033 (Anonymous) says… Me and my family are safe. My little girl was sound asleep and luckly didn't come out to see the horror filling our house let alone have a gun pointed at her…. We are happy to be alive and you all will have your opinions, but unless you've been through it you don't know what it feels like. I don't feel that anyone should sit here and make negative comments about this family or what happened. Think about it can we honestly say that we would have done anything different? We don't know until we have been put in a situation such as this family. It pays to think before we speak...There is enough negativity that going on within our city...We all need to pull together and support one another. Alot to think about let's start doing so.

Freestater456 7 years ago

I bet that guy didn't have the stones to use that gun on two innocent people. Most criminals hardly think about what to do if someone fights back! Jon was one of the few brave people who fought to defend his family. Way to go!

Freestater456 7 years ago

beobachter 1 it was early morning, not night, and he had left to walk the dog. 2 she was also awake and about the house.

streetking 7 years ago

why not keep dogs and guns, then these people will start to learn their lesson. as long as you arent an idiot, this will work. eventually people will get tired of being shot at, and destroyed by dogs. this isnt rocket science.

Danimal 7 years ago

I'm glad that the intended victims are alright. But what is going on in Lawrence?! Clearly Lawrence didn't realize that with its growth strategy the police department should be growing too.

Nickie1033 7 years ago

Clearing the air some more not that I have to but I will....

-He was walking the dog, its a habit for him to shut the door behind him, take the leash off our pitbull (whose obviously a pansy yet the sweetest dog alive!) in order to put the leash on our other pit. Welp, seconds, possibly a minute could have went by, by the time they wiggled the door knob then opened my door. I thank everyone for their support. We are good people, and we really didn't deserve this, let alone with our precious child sleeping sound like she always does. The second suspect will be caught and it's gonna just be a matter of time. I am praying....

TheJokerObama 7 years ago

Is this another story that ends with "TYPICAL?"

pissedinlawrence 7 years ago

Hey, wheres Sam Shelton these days?

Sigmund 7 years ago

Jayhawk12 (Anonymous) says… "Sigmund, I appreciate someone that does their homework."

Thanks very much, back at ya. And as you found a lot of those numbers were softish. Still, I can't help but think we have plenty of resources it is just that Olin doesn't have the education, temperament, or ambition to properly allocated what he has. But from what I can tell Olin is popular largely because of the family tragedy and is unlikely to be seriously challenged.

Jayhawk12 (Anonymous) says… "And finally, you should know where I stand on my taxes. If we do not curtail this crime problem we are experiencing, then we all as a community will suffer the long term economical and sociological consequences it will bring."

Honestly the Lawrence City Commission has the same problem. Plenty of resources and but they are wasted on pet projects because it is easier to raise taxes for "more protection" than for "more polluted industrial waste sites we would like to turn into a theme parks." If we need more patrol officers, and only patrol officers will do, then we need to reassign current LPD to patrol duties and away from others, whatever those might be. Finding that balance, recognizing the other law enforcement resources in the community and the changing needs over the year/semester is Olin's job. And the negative economic impacts of higher crime may not be so long term as employers and jobs leave because costs are higher, insurance rates climb, property values (and real estate tax revenues) decline, and sales (and sales taxes) fall further.

Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years ago

Too bad the homeowner wasn't armed. Thank you, Lynn

beawolf 7 years ago

"Someone's going to leave a sorry S O B if they come in to my house like that."...

That will look nice on your tombstone. Violence begets violence.

GreatAmericanZero 7 years ago

As listed on the Douglas County Sheriff's public website, the perp. is Travis Paul Sharon. DOB: 4/16/87 Address: 1733 KENT TERRACE , LAWRENCE , 66046

bellamber 7 years ago

Take Back the Night Benefit Concert at the Granada ALL AGES doors open at 7 show is from 730-midnight 5 bands for $5 Live music for a great cause! HELP END SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

GreatAmericanZero 7 years ago

Sigmund says: "But from what I can tell Olin is popular largely because of the family tragedy and is unlikely to be seriously challenged."

Could you expand upon this vague statement? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has no idea what you mean by that.

angel4dennis 6 years, 12 months ago

any word on the 2nd person? has he been caught yet?

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