Family, police identify 16-year-old girl shot, killed in neighborhood near Wichita State University

Family identifies Azuri Jones as the 16-year-old girl who was killed in a Sept. 23 shooting in...
Family identifies Azuri Jones as the 16-year-old girl who was killed in a Sept. 23 shooting in northeast Wichita.(Family of Azuri Jones)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 2:24 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Thursday night Update: Family members Thursday evening identified Azuri Jones as the 16-year-old who was shot and killed Thursday in northeast Wichita. Jones’ death comes two weeks after her brother, Christian Willis, was shot and killed in Lawrence.

In Wichita, Thursday’s deadly shooting is part of an ongoing problem with gun violence among teens.

The Wichita Police Department arrested three teen males, two aged 17 and one aged 16. Arresting charges included first-degree murder and criminal discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Police gave the following account of what happened:

At approximately 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a disturbance with weapons shots fired at 15th and Kenmar.  While officers were in route to the location, 16-year-old Azuri Jones who had been shot arrived at a local hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

The investigation revealed the three arrested males were in a red Kia along with another 16-year-old female.  The female got into a disturbance with a male inside of the vehicle in a parking lot in the 1400 block of North Terrace.  During the disturbance, four of her female friends pulled up in a white Honda, one of them being Jones.  The 16-year-old got out of the Kia and got into the Honda.  The disturbance continued so the driver of the Honda left with Jones and three other females in the car.

The three males got back into the red Kia and began chasing the females in the Honda.  In the area of 15th and Kenmar, one of the males fired multiple shots at the Honda striking Jones who was sitting in the back seat.  The driver of the Honda drove directly to the hospital.  The red Kia was located unoccupied in the area of Vesta and Fountain and was later found to have been reported stolen on Wednesday.

Shortly later, WPD officers observed the three suspects in the area of 17th and Harvard.  They were all arrested after a short foot pursuit.  Investigators have also recovered a handgun during the investigation.

Update: A 16-year-old girl is dead following a shooting near 17th and Oliver, in a neighborhood near Wichita State University.

Wichita police said the girl was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment where she died from her injuries. So far, police have three teens in custody as officers try to piece together what led up to the shooting.

Police said the violent crime happened a little after 1 p.m. when a chase involving two vehicles started, going throughout a neighborhood near 14th Street and Belmont. During the chase, several shots were fired, police said. And at some point, the 16-year-old girl was shot.

“All I know is the two groups of people did not know each other and they are all in their teens,” Wichita Police Department Captain Jeff Wieble said in a Thursday afternoon media briefing. “Obviously, when we have an incident like this involving teenagers, it’s difficult for everybody, including the officers in the case, as well as the community itself. “Obviously, we talked with neighbors in the area who were concerned about cars driving down the street with shots being fired.”

As of Thursday evening, it’s too early to tell if the shooting is gang-related and police have not yet identified the teen killed.

2:45 p.m. Update: Wichita police are calling a situation near 17th and Oliver a shooting incident.

They will brief the media on the situation at 14th and Belmont.

Wichita State University says university police are assisting Wichita police on an armed suspect situation.

The university said the situation is located near 15th Street and Fountain near the WSU campus.

Residents are being asked to avoid the area. If you see something suspicious, you should call 911 or 316-978-3450.

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