Archive for Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Brother: Text message led to fatal Mother’s Day shooting in East Lawrence

May 13, 2014


A family member and a neighbor say a series of text messages and a dispute between two men over a woman preceded a fatal Mother’s Day shooting at an East Lawrence apartment complex.

Charles T. Brockman, 26, of Lawrence, died after 6 p.m. Sunday after gunfire rang out at a barbecue at apartments in the 1100 block of East 13th Street.

Brockman’s older brother, Antonio Pam, 29, of Lawrence, said Tuesday that the conflict stemmed from a text message and that the shooter was a family friend.

“This is why it stings so bad,” he said.

Tim Brown, the apartment’s maintenance manager, said Brockman had a previous dispute with one of the people at the barbecue and that the differences concerned a female resident that the man was dating.

Brockman, who Brown said often visited family at the complex, planned to attend the barbecue until the man showed up with friends. Brown said the man and the woman, who have not been identified, sent Brockman threatening text messages while others called and warned him not to appear.

“I think he felt disrespected,” Brown said. “They were posted up at his family’s barbecue.”

Shortly before 6 p.m., as Brown manned the grill, he said he saw a woman pull up in a maroon Toyota and Brockman hop out with a shotgun. He said Brockman didn’t cock the gun at first, and only waved it around in an attempt to scare. Brown said he and others initially calmed Brockman and he began walking away, but then something was said that antagonized him. Brockman turned and chased the man, who ran to the second floor of one of two apartment buildings. Moments later, the man fired three shots into Brockman from between the steps as Brockman approached the staircase, Brown said.

“I ran up to him and said ‘Charles, you’ve been shot. Drop the gun,’” Brown said. Brown said Brockman's cousin soon arrived and drove Brockman to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police later questioned the shooter but did not make an arrest.

Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police spokesman, said detectives will continue to work the case throughout the next several weeks and will continue to conduct follow-up interviews. After all interviews have been completed and forensics results received, McKinley said the information will be sent to the district attorney’s office for review. Though he said he didn’t have a timeline, McKinley said the reports could take a “considerable amount of time.” A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said the office would not comment until receiving all reports on the investigation.

For his part, Brown said he didn’t think the shooting was a case of self defense, citing the events leading up to the incident. On Tuesday, Pam said he was trying to arrange for Brockman’s body to be sent back to Mississippi, where the family has deep roots. Pam said hundreds of relatives still live in a small Mississippi town and others have lived in the Lawrence area since the late 1960s.

On Tuesday, Pam asked the other two involved in Sunday’s altercation to step forward.

“Tell the other two kids to turn themselves in because they know who they are,” Pam said.


Nathan Wycoff 1 year, 6 months ago

If someone is chasing you with a shotgun, you have a right to defend yourself by any means necessary.

Randy Laggart 1 year, 6 months ago

Are you sure that arrest was not related to this? I initially got the two stories confused.

Richard Ballard 1 year, 6 months ago

Smart Phones & Texting are evil. It all lead to this unfortunate incident.

Without instant communications, this would not have been possible.

I think Smart Phones should be strictly regulated by the government.

Maybe even regestered. And run a backround check on every owner.

1 year, 6 months ago

Alcohol and or drugs...Then the text message...right?

Robert Rauktis 1 year, 6 months ago

Disrespected: what macho. middle age culture spawned that word? Did he get slapped with a glove?

And thank God to the invention of modern media which facilitates the speed of stupid comments. In the old days they stayed in the cave.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 6 months ago

One form of that word is dissed and people of all ages and gender use it.

Wayne James 1 year, 6 months ago

Without knowing these two indviduals, or knowing the messages content, If the victim had no weapon on his person (other than a spatula for turning burgers or some other tool used for cooking outside) and since he had no immediate way of defending himself, and since the shooter was using the staircase as "cover", it sounds to this layman, like a case of "Aggravated Assault" (with a weapon), or first degree murder as he entered the outing with the intent of doing bodily harm to someone. Let us all go back to what we learned in Kindergarten : "Sticks Stones will Break my bones, but Names will never hurt me." In years past, if someone had a "beef" with another, it was settled with fists......NOT guns! Are the NRA members proud that another un-registered firearm did not do any body any harm, Why the need for guns? You don't need a gun to hunt for food.....there is plenty for everyone at the local grocery. "Don't take your guns to town, just leave your guns at home"

Arnie Bunkers 1 year, 6 months ago

The Victim was the initiator. The intended victim is the one who shot the guy, who was apparently chasing him down. Does not sound like "Aggravated Assault" or first degree murder. Sounds like self defense.

Im not sure that in the past, beefs were settled with fists. Maybe with kids, but I think the Dalton Gang, the Hatfields and McCoys, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde and a host of others would beg to differ.

Nathan Wycoff 1 year, 6 months ago

Pre-crime is stupid. The gun didn't wake up and say, "I'm going to go chase this guy and pull the trigger and kill this person without a human". The problem isn't guns, it's the society we live in. People love to blame problems on one thing, when in reality there are a ton of things that come into play that causes things like this to happen.

Deb Engstrom 1 year, 6 months ago

So much could be said about this very sad situation. Why someone would need to wield a shotgun because they felt disrespected is a sad commentary on our society and what we are teaching our young people. If he felt threatened by the text messages, stay away.

Amy Heeter 1 year, 6 months ago

Brockman's friends are talking revenge ln Facebook. Not sure what the other guy was suppose to do when Brockman showed up with a shotgun. I guess he was suppose to let Brockman shoot him. From where I sit, if you take a him to a fight you can expect to be shot. I certainly hope the police are watching the Facebook discussions because these people are talking retaliation all the way from Mississippi and here as well.

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