Report: Long Wichita standoff ends, suspect dead

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A long standoff at a Wichita apartment complex ended Thursday night and the suspect is dead.

The Wichita Eagle reported late Thursday that Wichita police are saying the 24-year-old suspect, who had barricaded himself after firing shots Wednesday in a Kmart parking lot, is dead. It was not clear how the suspect died.

A SWAT team had entered the building shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who police said fled to the apartment complex after Wednesday's shooting and barricaded himself there. Police said it was unclear if the man was injured in the exchange, but no officers were hurt.

Police had said they believed the man was still alive around 8 p.m. but was no longer communicating with officers.

The man also is a suspect in a woman's July 4 stabbing in the Wichita suburb of Derby, police there said.

Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams said they've disconnected the electricity to the apartment where the man is holed up to try to "sweat him out."

"We deployed numerous, numerous rounds of tear gas, which proved to be ineffective," Williams said. "We found out he had barricaded himself in the bathroom in such a way that the tear gas did not penetrate the bathroom."

KFDI-FM reported that police say the suspect may have gained entry into another apartment by kicking in the walls.

Williams said police negotiators made some contact with the suspect, but the man stopped talking to them after he got agitated. The man tried to make some demands, but police would not comply.

The standoff at the apartment complex began Wednesday afternoon after police say the man tried to rob the Kmart pharmacy of prescription drugs. Shots were fired inside the store.

Police Capt. Max Tenbook said the man had been seen peeking through windows and that "there have been shots fired, but not by law enforcement."

Authorities forced residents of three buildings at the complex to leave their apartments for their safety. They are being placed in hotel rooms.

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