Man Arrested for Lawrence’s Deadly Crime Has Previous Drug Conviction

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) — A man arrested for killing two men two miles apart and then shooting at police has spent time in jail for drug possession and aggravated assault, among other crimes.

Lawrence police released the man’s name Sunday night, but it is KCTV5’s policy not to name suspects until they have been charged in court. A 51-year-old man is in the Douglas County Jail awaiting charges.

Earlier in the day, a large number of law enforcement officers, including a bombing and arson team, were present at an apartment building at 3419 Harvard Road, off Castled Drive. Arrest records showed that the suspect lived in one of the two residences.

Colton Denk and Lauren McGovern were in the process of moving to another division. On Sunday they had to postpone the second day of the move because of the crime scene. They started unloading their first truckload on Saturday with a man they thought would be their new neighbor.

“He came out shirtless, with stitches all over his arm. He had a bandage and bruises on his arms. And he, I could only say that he was out of his mind. He told me that he had just left the hospital,” Denk said.

He and McGovern chalked it up to the heat and possible medication from the hospital stay. They had no idea what would happen in just a few hours.

Below is an account of what happened overnight, provided by Lawrence Police Department public relations manager Laura McCabe.

At 1:00 a.m. Sunday, police were called to a house at 1115 Tennessee about the shooting. They found a 53-year-old man who had been shot. He later died in the hospital.

Shortly after that 911 call, they received another shooting call in a duplex about 2.5 miles from the first address. A 43-year-old man was found shot to death at 325 Northwood Lane.

The police worked all night to identify the suspect. When they did and tried to stop the man around 6 am, he led them on a K-10 chase through town.

He fired from his window on the highway at the pursuing policemen. They didn’t get hurt. The Eudora police used stop sticks to help detain the man.

Kansas Department of Corrections records show convictions for crimes in Clay County, Kansas. These are several counties west of Douglas County.

He was convicted in 2009 of separate 2008 crimes, including drug possession in February, aggravated assault in August, and criminal threat in October.

In 2015, he was again convicted of drug possession in 2012. He served his term and was released from custody in 2017.

The couple who moved into the apartment next door to him said the whole thing was troubling to say the least.

“It could be us that he accidentally decided to kill, and that scares me a lot,” McGovern said.

McCabe, did the police think the suspected shooter knew any victim, but did they say he acted alone. The following is part of McCabe’s statement on the department’s social media.

“This investigation involves multiple agencies, multiple locations, two victims and the attempted murder of multiple law enforcement officials. In an effort to ensure the accuracy of all information, in an unstable situation, we will not provide additional information right now, but we clearly understand the interest and concern of the public, so we will update you on a regular basis. In the meantime, we firmly believe that this suspect acted alone, the community is no longer in danger, and the fired upon LKPD officers have immediate access to our various support services.”