WPD: Suspect asked for seizure agent by name in taxation office shooting

Published: Sep. 19, 2017 at 2:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Update: Wichita police have confirmed that the man arrested in connection with the shooting of a Kansas Department of Revenue employee is 51-year-old Ricky Wirths.

Officer Charley Davidson, with the Wichita Police Department, said around 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday officers were called to the 1800 block of W. 21st Street North.

On the scene, they located a 35-year-old man in the Kansas Department of Revenue Taxation office with multiple gunshot wounds. The man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Davidson said the man is a seizure agent for the Kansas Department of Revenue. He has since been upgraded to serious condition.

Davidson said Tuesday morning, the department of revenue and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office were at a home in the 900 block of W. 34th Street North, following up on a department of revenue investigation. The seizure agent was a part of this initial investigation.

Around 2:30 p.m., Davidson said Wirths walked into the taxation office and asked for the seizure agent by name. The agent met Wirths at the front of the business. He and Wirths were discussing the investigation when Wirths brandished a handgun and shot the agent multiple times.

The agent went to the back of the office, and Wirths fled the scene in a pickup truck.

Police went to the home where the investigation had taken place and located Wirths near 35th Street North and Arkansas. He was taken into custody without incident.

Police have interviewed multiple witnesses in connection to the case and the weapon used has been recovered.

On Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback identified the seizure agent as Cortney Holloway.


Update: A tax agent shot multiple times Tuesday afternoon at the Kansas Department of Revenue tax office in west Wichita is improving at a local hospital. Tuesday evening, a house supervisor at Via Christi-St. Francis says Cortney Holloway's condition has improved from critical to serious.


Update: Records from the Sedgwick County Jail show a man identified by neighbors as the suspect in Tuesday afternoon's shooting of a tax agent at the Kansas Department of Revenue tax office near 21st and Amidon was booked into the jail on a charge of attempted first-degree murder.

Records show Ricky Todd Wirths, 51, was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail a little after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

David Hiegel, a neighbor of Wirths' says he was shocked when he saw video of Wirths' arrest on Eyewitness News Tuesday.

"I knew it was Rick. I've known him for 22 years," Hiegel says.

During those years, he says he's known Wirths to be a hard worker who owned and operated his own construction business.

"He did dirt work with his parents. He installed windows for a few years, and he's been doing parking lot paving and sealant for the last few years," Hiegel says.

Documents obtained by Eyewitness News show a tax warrant where the State of Kansas ordered the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office to seize and sell Wirths' assets in order to repay nearly $200,000 in sales tax he failed to pay between 2012 and 2015.

"I knew him to have a temper, but I didn't think he'd be capable of this," Hiegel says. "But I guess he was losing everything, though. So that'd be hard to swallow."

One person who spoke with Eyewitness News off camera Tuesday has also known Wirths for several years. He says he was aware of some of Wirths' tax issues and says that's something with which Wirths has consistently had problems.


Update: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback released a statement Tuesday evening in response to the shooting at the Kansas Department of Revenue, identifying the man shot as tax agent Cortney Holloway.

Brownback says the tax office at Twin Lakes where the shooting happened, will be closed for the rest of the week.

Full statement from the governor:

“This is a state employee who was doing his job and enforcing the law. I ask everyone to join Mary and I in praying for Courtney and his family,” Governor Brownback said. “I’m thankful for Courtney’s work and thankful for the police officers who apprehended the suspect.” The tax office at Twin Lakes where the shooting took place will be closed the rest of the week. The Twin Lakes Driver’s License office adjacent to the tax office will not be open on Wednesday, but will reopen for normal operations on Thursday. “This is a shocking event for our KDOR family, and we ask for everyone’s prayers and understanding as we support our employees and get them the help they need to process this event,” said Revenue Secretary Sam Williams. Counseling resources are being provided for KDOR employees.


Update: A neighbor identifies the suspect in Tuesday afternoon's shooting as Ricky Wirths. The neighbor identified Wirths from video of the arrest near 35th and Arkansas. A home near where police arrested the suspect also is registered to the name, Rick Wirths.

However, Wichita police have not identified the shooting suspect.

A state tax warrant from the Sedgwick County Courthouse shows the State of Kansas asked the sheriff to seize property of the man identified as the suspect by neighbors, sell it and pay the money to the state within 90 days.

That money is near $200,000. Documents show between June 2012 and July 2015, the man didn't pay taxes totaling $196,000. It also referenced a previous notice.


Update: Wichita police say a Tuesday afternoon shooting that left one man critically injured happened inside the Kansas Department of Revenue tax building near 21st and Amidon.

Initially, the shooting was reported to have occurred at the DMV, which neighbors the department of revenue building.

Wichita Police Officer Charley Davidson says the man critically injured with multiple gunshot wounds is 35 years old. Davidson says it's believed the man is an employee with the department of revenue.

Davidson says there was a department of revenue investigation involving the suspect. He did not disclose the nature of the investigation but says it involved a scene near 35th North and Arkansas. This is near where police made an arrest.

He says police made the arrest without incident. The shooting happened about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Davidson says the investigation into the shooting continues and the parking lot near the shooting scene remains blocked to incoming vehicles. He says there is no threat to the public.

Further information, including details on the suspect and the events leading up to the shooting, is expected Wednesday morning at the Wichita Police Department's daily briefing.


Update: Police have made an arrest following the shooting outside the DMV near 21st and Amidon. A man was placed in handcuffs and put in a police cruiser near 35th North and Arkansas. It is believed this is the suspect as the man matches the suspect description.

A witness at the DMV tells Eyewitness News she was taking a driver's license test when the shooting happened outside the building.

She says an employee told people inside to duck down and take cover. The woman says she never saw the shooter and the shooter did not come into the DMV. She says everyone inside the DMV was allowed to leave after they were told police caught the suspected shooter.


Police are looking for a suspect connected to a shooting call at the Kansas State DMV on near 21st and Amidon in Wichita.

Dispatch confirms one person is hurt - scanner traffic indicates the person was shot in the chest, leg, and finger with potentially critical injuries.

Dispatchers did not know whether police are in a standoff with a potential shooter, or whether anyone is in custody. Our news partners at KFDI reported police looking for a white man between 40 and 50 years old wearing khaki shorts.

Our crews are on the way to the scene now. Expect updates online, on social media, and on-air on Eyewitness News at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00.

Please send out your best thoughts and prayers to Cortney Holloway and his family. Cortney was shot today in the...

Posted by League 42 on Tuesday, September 19, 2017