1 suspect arrested in fatal central Lawrence shooting; police still seeking 1 more

photo by: Kim Callahan

Police respond to a shooting near 15th and Kentucky streets on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

Lawrence police have arrested one suspect in a fatal shooting that took place in central Lawrence earlier this month, and they are still searching for another one.

According to an email from police spokesman Patrick Compton, 18-year-old Javier Isidro Romero was arrested on Friday night in connection with the Sept. 8 shooting death of Christian Talib Willis. Romero was booked into the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and was being held on $1 million bond, according to the jail booking log.

Compton said the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office assisted in Romero’s arrest.

Police are still seeking another suspect in the case, Compton said: 19-year-old Andrel Darnell Spates Jr., of Lawrence. Compton said Spates is 6 feet tall and 165 pounds and is considered armed and dangerous. He encouraged anyone with information on Spates to call the department at 785-832-7509 or Crime Stoppers of Douglas County at 785-843-7477.

As the Journal-World previously reported, the shooting took place around 7:15 p.m. Sept. 8 in the 1500 block of Kentucky Street. Willis, 21, of Wichita, was pronounced dead at the scene.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.