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.

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