February double fatality shooting in rural Douglas County still under investigation

photo by: Elvyn Jones

A Douglas County Sheriff's Office vehicle is pictured in this file photo from August 2017.

Almost two months after a weekend shooting in rural Douglas County resulted in the deaths of two Lawrence men, the case remains open despite no charges having been filed, a law enforcement official told the Journal-World.

Deputy Charlie Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said Wednesday that the Feb. 13 shooting was still under investigation. She said the sheriff’s office was still waiting for forensic evidence to be analyzed.

Cooper did not respond to the Journal-World’s request for an estimate of how long the analysis would likely take.

The shooting occurred on a Saturday evening, just north of Lawrence city limits near a rural property situated between Lake View Lake and the Kansas River.

As the Journal-World has reported, law enforcement responded to a rural property in the 2000 block of East 1100 Road about 6:25 p.m. Feb. 13 after receiving reports of gunshots. When deputies arrived, one individual was found dead, and two other individuals were taken to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries. The next day, the sheriff’s office announced a second man involved in the shooting had died from his wounds at the hospital.

Emergency radio traffic indicated that at least two civilians at the scene exchanged gunfire, Journal-World news partner Operation 100 News reported. Additionally, the sheriff’s office said the shootings happened outside.

A few days after the incident, the sheriff’s office identified the three men killed and injured in the incident. Ramon V. Muhammad, 51, died at the scene from apparent gunshot wounds, and Austin J. Crystal, 31, died at the hospital from apparent gunshot wounds. The third man in the shooting, Ronald W. Crystal, 58, who was injured from apparent gunshot wounds, was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

A few weeks later, the sheriff’s office said it would no longer provide updates on Ronald Crystal’s condition because of health privacy reasons. However, the sheriff’s office said if he were to die from the wounds he suffered in the incident, an update would have been provided, which has not occurred.

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