Man arrested in deadly crime spree in Lawrence had history of drug convictions

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

Lawrence police released the man’s name on Sunday evening, but KCTV5 has a policy of not naming suspects until they are charged in court. The 51-year-old is in the Douglas County jail awaiting charge.

Earlier in the day, there was a large law enforcement presence, including a bomb and arson squad, at a duplex at 3419 Harvard Road near Kasold Drive. Arrest records showed the suspect lived in one of two units there.

Colton Denk and Lauren McGovern were moving into the other unit. They had to suspend the second day of their move on Sunday due to the crime scene. They started unloading their first truckload of goods on Saturday and met the man they thought was their new neighbor.

“He came out shirtless, stitches all over his hand. He had a bandage and bruises on his arms. And him, I could just tell he wasn’t in his right mind. He told me said he was just released from the hospital,” Denk described.

He and McGovern attributed it to the heat and possible medication from the hospital stay. They would have no idea what would happen a few hours later.

The following is an account of what transpired overnight provided by Lawrence Police Department communications manager Laura McCabe.

At 1 a.m. Sunday, police were called to a home at 1115 Tennessee to a shooting. They found a 53-year-old man shot dead. I died later in the hospital.

Shortly after that 911 call, they received another shooting call at a duplex about 2 1/2 miles from the first address. A 43-year-old man was found shot dead at 325 Northwood Lane.

Police worked through the night to identify a suspect. When they did and tried to arrest the man around 6:00 a.m., I led them on a chase through town and to K-10.

He fired from his window on the freeway at the pursuing officers. They weren’t hurt. Eudora Police deployed banging sticks to help bring the man into custody.

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 crimes in 2008, including possession of narcotics in February, aggravated assault in August and felony threats in October.

He was reconvicted in 2015 for a narcotics possession offense in 2012. He served his sentence and was released from prison in 2017.

The couple moving into the unit adjacent to theirs said the whole thing was unsettling to say the least.

β€œIt could have been us that he decided to randomly kill, and that scares me a lot,” McGovern said.

McCabe if police believe the alleged shooter knew either of the victims, but said he believed he acted alone. The following is part of the statement made by McCabe on the department’s social media platforms.

“This investigation involves multiple agencies, multiple locations, two victims, and the attempted murder of multiple law enforcement officers. In order to ensure that all information is accurate, in a fluid situation, we will not be providing further details. at this time, but we clearly understand the interest and concerns of the public, so we will update you regularly. In the meantime, we strongly believe that this suspect acted alone, that the public is no longer in danger and that the LKPD officers who have been shot have immediate access to our various support services.