Sara Shepherd (Public safety reporter)
I'm the Journal-World's public safety reporter. I cover crime, courts, fire and related features in Lawrence and Douglas County and, sometimes, neighboring counties.
I’ve been a reporter at the Journal-World since 2012. Prior to taking over the public safety beat I covered the University of Kansas and higher education beat — including some of our local post-secondary institutions’ occasional, inevitable intersections with the law. Previously, I was the night police reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction most every day for a few years, everything from quadruple homicides to massive chemical fires. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a suburban weekly paper just up the road in Johnson County.
I'm originally from Emporia, but I had ancestors living here in Lawrence when William Quantrill sacked the town in 1863 (they survived the massacre, probably thanks to being politically insignificant German immigrants). I’m also a fourth-generation KU grad, led by my great grandfather, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from KU. I majored in journalism, art history and French and wrote for The University Daily Kansan, where my reporting beat was campus police.
- Back-to-back armed home-invasion robberies reported overnight; police suspect link to drug activity
- February 21, 2018
- Lawrence police are investigating two back-to-back armed home-invasion robberies reported late Tuesday night, which they believe are related and stem from drug activity.
- Police subdue man who was allegedly wielding hatchet at Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- February 21, 2018
- Lawrence police subdued a man Tuesday who reportedly threatened people with a hatchet at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and yelled for responding officers to “shoot” him.
- Motel 6 murder trial pushed back another three months
- February 20, 2018
- A jury trial for three men charged in the North Lawrence Motel 6 murder case has been pushed back nearly three months. Resolving all three defendants’ cases could take longer if they end up having separate trials, as their defense attorneys have said they would seek.
- Lawrence teen who murdered grandmother sentenced to more than 48 years in prison
- 10:36 a.m., February 20, 2018 Updated 02:05 p.m.
- Jaered Long has been ordered to serve more than 48 years in prison in the stabbing death of his grandmother.
- With murder case pending against him, Eudora man also facing civil lawsuit by victim’s family
- February 19, 2018
- As a high-stakes criminal case against him approaches trial, murder defendant Danny Queen also is being sued by the family of the man he allegedly shot and killed outside a Eudora bar last summer.
- Carpenter seriously hurt at job site sues Lawrence construction firm
- February 19, 2018
- An independent contractor is suing a Lawrence construction company, claiming the business is responsible for a jobsite fall that badly injured him.
- Injured partygoer’s lawsuit against KU fraternity dismissed; man had claimed broken jaw, racial slurs
- February 16, 2018
- A lawsuit against a University of Kansas fraternity and its national headquarters — filed by a man who said frat members insulted his black friends and broke his jaw in a fight outside the house — has been dismissed.
- Affidavit: Stature, nickname helped lead police to suspect in west Lawrence shooting
- February 15, 2018
- Victims of a robbery and shooting at a west Lawrence apartment told police that, of four assailants who barged in, the one who fired the shot was “drastically” and “significantly” shorter than the rest.
- Affidavit: Two women plotted to kill Eudora man and cover it up
- February 14, 2018
- The night Joel Wales was killed and the house he was in burned, witnesses heard shouting, gunshots and then a woman yelling, “Come on, come on, come on.” One saw a woman on the front porch when the fire broke out, who then got into a car and left the scene. Those and other witness accounts, followed by a trail of physical evidence, led to murder charges against two women, according to affidavits obtained by the Journal-World.
- Assault rifle, more than 1,300 rounds of ammo found in arrestee’s car after pursuit in Lawrence
- 12:20 p.m., February 14, 2018 Updated 05:24 p.m.
- After an overnight car chase in Lawrence, deputies arrested the driver and found drugs, an assault rifle and more than 1,300 rounds of ammunition in his car, law enforcement authorities said.