Detectives continue to investigate a shooting that hospitalized a 20-year-old Lawrence man early Sunday morning, and it will likely be up to prosecutors to decide the future of the case, police said today.
Police have declined to identify the man, who was taken to a Kansas City-area hospital to be treated for serious injuries after a shooting in the 2300 block of Murphy Drive about 1:25 a.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman.
The shooting was reported by a 23-year-old Lawrence man who told police that he had fired a shotgun at a person who he saw breaking into his vehicle. Police determined that the man fired about three shots from the second-floor window of his apartment toward the parking lot, McKinley said. Several witnesses in the area also called police to report the shooting.
Police responding to the call found a 20-year-old shooting victim nearby, in the 2300 block of Ridge Court, suffering from wounds that appeared to be caused by a shotgun. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical crews reported that the man had suffered wounds on his right side, including his shoulder and arm, and the man was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. He was later transferred to a Kansas City-area hospital.
The man who reported that he did the shooting was cooperative with investigators, McKinley said, and no arrests have been made. Police also declined to identify him today, as it was not clear which persons involved in the incident might be a victim of a crime, a suspect, or both.
A Kansas statute governing self-defense says that a person is justified in the use of force to prevent unlawful interference with property. But about property other than a home, a place of work, or an occupied vehicle, the law says, "Only such use of force as a reasonable person would deem necessary to prevent or terminate the interference may intentionally be used."
Detectives will want to speak with the injured man before concluding the investigation, McKinley said, and he has not been available to detectives while in the hospital.
The man would be at least the fourth person shot in Lawrence this year. On July 17, a 51-year-old Lawrence man was killed in a shooting at 647 Michigan St. In May, two Topeka men were critically injured in a shooting in the 800 block of Greever Terrace. Criminal charges are pending in both cases.
When the investigation into Sunday's shooting is complete, police will deliver the information, as well as information about the alleged auto burglary, to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office.