Lawrence teen accused of shooting gun at occupied vehicle

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

The Douglas County Department of Youth Services is pictured in this Journal-World file photo from February 2016.

A teenager has been charged in connection with an alleged exchange of gunfire between people in vehicles in Lawrence.

Officers were dispatched to the 2400 block of Louisiana Street just before 1 a.m. Monday for a reported disturbance with weapons, Lawrence Police Department spokesperson Patrick Compton told the Journal-World via email Monday.

Officers spoke to witnesses at the scene who heard gunfire, but it did not appear as though anyone at the scene was injured, Compton said.

A Lawrence boy, 17, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident. He was charged Wednesday in Douglas County District Court with criminal discharge of a firearm, a low-level felony, for allegedly shooting at an occupied vehicle, according to the charging document in his case.

The boy appeared in court via videoconferencing software before Juvenile Pro Tem Judge Paul Klepper Wednesday afternoon for a hearing to determine whether he should remain in juvenile detention, and some details of the alleged altercation emerged during that hearing.

Deborah Moody, assistant Douglas County district attorney, said the boy was accused of being out late in a car and firing a gun at another car. She said she couldn’t think of many things more serious than that type of behavior, which could pose a severe risk to the community, and she asked the judge to keep the boy in detention.

Defense attorney Dakota Loomis, however, argued that eyewitnesses told police that the boy was the one being chased by people in another vehicle, and the boy was reportedly not in possession of a firearm.

Loomis said that according to the police affidavit in the case, people in the other car were found in possession of a firearm that was missing six bullets from the magazine. He requested that the boy be released from juvenile detention with electronic monitoring.

Klepper reviewed the police affidavit again, noting that a lot of people were involved and a lot was going on. He ruled that the boy should be detained for the time being, based on the allegations that the boy was “firing a pistol in a crowded street in the middle of the night at another car.”

“I will concede, certainly, based on that affidavit that, if it is to be taken at face value, (the boy) was not the only one doing that,” Klepper said, “but (the boy) is the only one before the court at this particular moment.”

Compton said Wednesday afternoon that police were still investigating the case. He said police have not received any reports of injuries connected with the incident.

The boy’s next court appearance is another detention hearing, set for Jan. 20.

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