Lawrence resident Daniel Fry arrived at his home early Sunday morning to find a shocking scene. “I saw a bunch of police cars; I saw a fire truck, a couple of ambulances,” he said.
He soon learned that some of his friends had been hurt during an altercation. Eight people were either shot or injured by flying debris, according to Lawrence police.
The incident happened at 2:22 a.m. at The Exchange, an apartment complex at 3100 Ousdahl Road.
Fry said his friends were hosting a black light party in an apartment, on the bottom floor of one of the buildings. At some point in the evening, police said a fight broke out between the people at the party and an unknown man.
Police Capt. Mike Pattrick issued a news release Sunday afternoon, which stated that “preliminary reports indicated an unidentified male standing outside an apartment fired a handgun into an apartment, striking several people.”
Residents and witnesses stood on their balconies and in the surrounding area watching the investigation unfold Sunday morning.
Jamar Reese, 21, of Lawrence, said he heard the shots being fired. “It sounded like firecrackers,” he said. “Really loud ones. There were probably about seven shots fired off.”
Reese was visiting a friend who lived at the apartment complex.
Antwan Winkfield lives on the second floor of Building 7, directly above the apartment that was shot at. Winkfield said he and some friends had been hanging out in the apartment when the shots were fired.
”I heard four or five shots,” Winkfield said. “We ran to the window and could see our friends below ducking and we heard glass breaking.”
According to Winkfield, some uninvited guests showed up to the party and the hosts refused them entry. Winkfield said it was possible the people who were turned away were the same people who returned and fired the shots. He did not see the suspect or the suspect vehicle.
Matthew Evilsizor, one of the victims of the incident, returned to the lower-level apartment Sunday afternoon with a bandage on his right arm. Evilsizor said he and the other victims were going to be fine.
“A lot of us are still pretty shaken up,” he said.
Bullet holes, a dented railing and a boarded patio door are evidence of the shooting.
Many residents at The Exchange said they are surprised something like this could happen at their apartment complex. “It’s kind of scary since it’s a gated community, to think that’s supposed to keep us safe, but it wasn’t able to do that,” Courtney Smith said.
Other residents said the incident didn’t worry them, “There’s a lot of drinking that goes on; it’s a college town, tempers get out of hand, things get out of hand,” Exchange resident Elizabeth Pruett said.
The suspect was last seen leaving the area with a group of people in an unidentified passenger vehicle.
Detectives and officers continue to work active leads to identify the suspect in the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department Detective Division at (785) 830-7430 or the Crime Stoppers hot line at (785) 843-TIPS.