A body was found in a Central Topeka alley Monday afternoon shortly after a gunshot victim walked into a local hospital.
Topeka Police Lt. Kelvin Johnson says around 1:30 p.m., a person walked in the emergency room what appeared to be a gunshot wound. The victim was suffering from injuries thought to be non-life threatening.
A few minutes later, police received a call about an unresponsive person found in an alley in the 1500 block of SW Western.
Johnson could not immediately say whether there was any connection between the two victims.
According to a news release sent while WIBW News Now was on the scene at 15th and Western, the person found in the alley died at the hospital.
Lt. Coleen Stuart says that both were victims of a shooting that had occurred in the alley.
Police later identified the victim as 23-year-old Bondderrick Sanders, of Topeka. The name of the surviving victim has not been released.
Lt. Jennifer Cross says the fatal shooting is likely connected to reports made earlier in the day about an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles in the area of 11th and Buchanan.
“We have reason to believe that they may be related,” said Cross. “So we’re looking for anybody who might information that could help the investigation.”
One person who lives in the area told WIBW News Now she was inside her home and heard at least 15-20 shots fired in rapid succession, but did not look outside to see where the shots were coming from.
Witnesses have given multiple descriptions and colors of the vehicles involved in the incident on Buchanan Street, which occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m.
Investigators at one point were looking for a red Fiat occupied by three black males in connection with the shooting. Cross said in an email that vehicle was found late Monday night, but made no mention of the suspects.
Sanders’ death marks Topeka’s 25th homicide in 2017.
The incident comes less than a week after the early morning fatal shooting of 30-year-old Joshua Jernagin, who was killed October 3 inside a home at the Westview Apartment complex, located two blocks north of the alley where Sanders was found. A woman was critically injured in that shooting.
Donald Perkins, president of the Central Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, lives just a few houses away from where Sanders was found. He says he came home from an appointment Monday afternoon and saw police had blocked off the alley behind his house.
“They wouldn’t let come up to my house. I had to go down to 17th Street [to park],” said Perkins. “That’s when I found out there was a body back there.”
Perkins says shootings and other violent incidents don’t happen very often on his block.
“Not in this area, but they do happen down there by the apartments,” said Perkins, gesturing toward the Westview Apartments in the 1300 block of SW Western. “It’s a lot of rental properties over there. I don’t know; we’re working on [cleaning things up], but there’s only so much you can do.”