A glimpse into the lives of some of the 54 people killed in Wichita in 2021




  • In US
  • 2022-01-23 10:23:00Z
  • By Wichita Eagle



Gabriel Campos-Torres

Jan. 1

The 21-year-old was always "cheerful and inspiring" and protective of his sister, a neighbor said, adding he would help neighbors with yard work. An autopsy said he died from "blunt force injuries to the torso."

Nicholas Tyrone Sims

Jan. 1

Sims, 26, died after he was shot for standing up to a man who "physically assaulted" a woman at a New Year's party, according to court documents. His obituary says he played for Pittsburg State University on a football scholarship and was a "loving uncle."

Sharrod J. Rollen

Jan. 1

Rollen, 26, earned his GED and accepted Christ in 2018, according to his obituary. A family member posted a video on Facebook of him rapping about mistakes he's made. Police said Rollen, who was found dead inside an apartment, was killed when he got into a fight after going out to celebrate on New Year's Eve.

Michael Dewayne Payne Montgomery

Jan. 13

Montgomery, 34, used a wheelchair. Before he lost his ability to walk, he liked sports, singing, music and riding bikes, according to his obituary in The Ponca City News. It says he never let MD, presumably muscular dystrophy, stop him in life. He was found stabbed; a cousin has been charged in the case.

'Tito' Oscar Acosta

Jan. 14

Acosta, 42, owned the Birrieria Tito restaurant with his wife. He was working when he was shot by a restaurant-goer after the suspect started rummaging through the trash, police said. A nearly 15-minute memorial video shows Acosta cooking, wearing sports jerseys and posing with his children and large family.

Rebecca C. Nimmo

Jan. 20

Nimmo, 43, had blonde hair and green eyes. As a child, she dreamed of being on Broadway. She grew up and fell in love with Christmas and Elvis Presley. She was killed by her husband.

Michael Emon Beasley
Michael Emon Beasley  

Michael Emon Beasley

Feb. 1

Beasley, 17, liked playing basketball. He looked out for his younger siblings and cared for and supported his toddler and her mother, according to his funeral program. He went to Southeast High School. He was found lying in the grass next to an abandoned church, shot multiple times.

Jack Lancaster

Feb. 2

Lancaster, 67, liked to travel and often visited historic sites, according to Facebook posts. He'd made multiple posts sharing older songs, including "I Fall to Pieces" released in 1961 by Patsy Cline. He died a few days after he was pushed during a fight at a party and fell backward, hitting his head on the ground.

Kaylah Blackmon

Feb. 4

Blackmon, 18, dyed her frequently and had tattoos to represent different family members. She had plans to go to beauty school. She was found shot dead inside her SUV a few days after her boyfriend, Michael Beasley, was found shot to death.

Jesus Danilo Fernandez

Feb. 5

Fernandez, 14, loved to play soccer. He was a freshman at Heights High School and played for Sporting Wichita. He was fatally shot at a park.

Brianna N. Ibarra

Feb. 6

Ibarra, 13, liked to smile and make funny faces in pictures. Lots of funny faces. Her obituary says she was "weird in her own way, loved to create," fun to be around, bright and carefree. She was in the back seat of her family's SUV when it was stolen. She was fatally dragged along Kellogg when she tried to escape.

Jacob Michael Kalese

March 3

Kalese, 22, was a 2017 North High School graduate. He loved writing lyrics and working on cars. He was the oldest of six children. He planned to marry his high school sweetheart of five-plus years. He was fatally shot during a small gathering in a backyard.

Christopher Terrell

March 6

Terrell, 20, was the youngest of three children. He was a jokester and loved to dance. He was working toward having his own carpentry business. He was fatally shot by a man on drugs who also shot himself, police said.

Natasha Diane Arvidson

March 19

Arvidson, 38, earned a bachelor's degree from Newman University in 2006, according to her obituary. She was a mother to a young son and member of the First Pentecostal Church. She was found fatally injured at a home in west Wichita.

Merrill Corbin Rabus
Merrill Corbin Rabus  

Merrill Corbin Rabus

March 26

Rabus, 54, had struggled with drugs and homelessness before turning his life around. He talked about Jesus whenever he could. He repaired and donated bicycles to homeless people, allowing them to get to and from jobs. He was on his bicycle when a woman hit him in a van and then got out and shot him, police said.

Sage Collette

April 2

Collette, 15, was "brilliant, beautiful Light, lost in addictions," her adopted mother, who was her grandmother, said on Facebook. A fundraiser to help with burial costs says she was sweet, loving, curious and wanted to grow up too fast. It says her father died of a drug overdose and her biological mother was a drug addict. The teen runaway was found dead inside a hotel room.

Quantin L. McIntosh Jr.

April 6

McIntosh, 19, loved to be the center of attention. He played different sports, but football was his favorite. He played for the Wichita Colts and at a high school in New Mexico. He also attended Wichita East High School. He was fatally shot after an argument that started at a Burger King drive-thru.

Elijah Bilal Davis

April 11

Davis, 20, was part of a big family with several siblings. A post on his Facebook says he was "effortlessly cool" and had a unique laugh. One person wrote in his obituary guestbook that he was "very funny and smart!" He was shot during a party at an Airbnb.

Eric L. Stokes, Jr.

April 25

Stokes, 17, loved to skateboard and freestyle rap. A friend said he could make anyone laugh at any time. He was getting ready for college and planned to work for NASA one day. He was fatally shot when masked suspects forced their way into an apartment and started firing.

John Ross

May 2

Ross, 27, was accidentally shot by his aunt as she struggled with another relative over a handgun, police said.

Fernando Recio
Fernando Recio  

Fernando Recio

May 4

Recio, 18, was loving, outgoing and always had a smile, according to a GoFundMe post. His Facebook page shows a teen who liked horses, cowboy hats and modified vehicles. He was found shot at a car wash and died at a hospital.

William Howard Robinson

May 7

Robinson, 39, a former Wichita officer, was working as a security guard at QuikTrip when he was fatally shot. He was married with two children. He was known to help out homeless people and would help cover the cost difference for their food or drink.

Shawna D.
Shawna D.  

Shawna D. Webb

May 15

Webb, 40, liked to cook. She'd often make extra money by selling meals during the holidays. She lost a teenage daughter in 2016. Webb was found shot dead inside a home. Her sister was arrested in the killing.

Jose Covarrubias

May 25

Covarrubias, 22, was a college student, family said. He liked dogs and had a blue nose pitbull and English terrier, according to Facebook. He also liked getting his hair cut. He was killed at an apartment complex.

Abraham Galvan

June 3

Galvan, 21, was killed in an early morning shooting when he was in the back seat of a vehicle, headed home from a wedding.

Tyler Hodge
Tyler Hodge  

Tyler Hodge

June 19

Hodge, 28, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, loved animals and dreamed of one day having an animal sanctuary. He loved the outdoors and wanted to finish hiking the Appalachian Trail. He liked to watch mixed-martial arts and play video games online with friends. He was engaged and had a stepdaughter. Hodge, who had struggled with mental health issues since childhood, died in a shootout with police.

Freeman
Freeman  

DeAndre Antwon Freeman, Sr.

June 20

Freeman, 47, was a former barber who was enrolled in an HVAC program when he was killed. His funeral program says he was kind, funny, giving and extremely intelligent. He is survived by five children and three grandchildren. He was fatally shot after an argument started about someone wanting to borrow money from him to play a dice game, according to court records.

Engram
Engram  

Kahleb Prince Edward Engram

June 25

Engram, 17, loved basketball and dreamed of one day playing in the NBA. He was into fashion, especially shoes. He went to Wichita East High School. He had a smile that would light up a room. He died in an early morning shooting outside of a home.

Shay Prewitt
Shay Prewitt  

Shay Prewitt

July 4

Prewitt, 49, was a truck driver who also liked to do charity rides as a member of the Black Sabbath Motorcycle Club in Wichita. He was willing to help anyone and would give them the shirt off his back, according to the club president. He was fatally shot after confronting a man at the request of a woman, police said.

Samantha Russell
Samantha Russell  

Samantha Lee Russell

July 6

Russell, 22, was a Realtor and a crafter of hand-stamped jewelry. She was 33 weeks pregnant when she was killed in an accident by a driver fleeing from police. Doctors were able to save the boy. A fundraiser set up to help her surviving husband and child had originally sought $5,000 in donations. It received more than $122,000.

Joseph James Florence
Joseph James Florence  

Joseph James Florence

July 17

Florence, 16, went to Southeast High School. He loved sports. He also liked to write music and play video games. He was found fatally shot after a fight occurred at his home, police said.

Jyrez Dezron Ricks

July 20

Ricks, 19, was goofy and loving and would never leave the house without a backpack full of snacks, according to his funeral program. It says his "daily diet consisted of hamburger helper, rice-a-roni, eggs and beef jerky." He was accidentally shot when another person was handling a handgun inside an apartment.

Robertino Gomez
Robertino Gomez  

Robertino Gomez

Aug. 15

Gomez, 25, updated his Facebook profile picture twice in the five months before his death. One appears to be him holding his young son who was asleep on his shoulder and the other of them both in cowboy hats at a celebration. He did maintenance at Airxcel, according to Facebook. He was fatally shot outside a birthday party.

Hung Nguyen

Aug. 17

Nguyen, 49, was fatally stabbed by a homeless woman. His body was found in an alley behind businesses.

Jason David Huber

Sept. 2

Huber, 32, liked sewing, cooking and riding his bike, according to his obituary. He also enjoyed collecting vacuums. Huber's obituary says one of his greatest joys was his cat, Francois. He was shot and killed while riding on a bicycle, which was then stolen.

Preston Jonel Spencer
Preston Jonel Spencer  

Preston Jonel Spencer

Sept. 7

Spencer, 34, was married with two young children. He played flag football and had a bachelor's degree from Upper Iowa University. Spencer, a popular Wichita bartender, also co-owned a company. He was at an Old Town nightclub with friends and coworkers when he was killed during a mass shooting. A friend said Spencer put himself in front of his pregnant cousin when the shooting started.

Carter
Carter  

Jacquez Tyree Carter

Sept. 8

Carter, 23, liked working on classic cars. He drove a 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass. He was engaged and had two children. He was humble and could make anyone laugh, his fiancee said. He was at a red light when an SUV pulled up on his side and someone in the SUV started shooting at him.

Kurt Petersen

Sept. 21

Petersen, 67, was found by his caretaker fatally stabbed on the kitchen floor.

Azuri Jones-Willis
Azuri Jones-Willis  

Azuri Jones-Willis

Sept. 23

Jones-Willis, 16, lost her son less than 24 hours after birth and her brother the same day, both less than two weeks before her death. Jones-Willis, who had at least nine siblings, had a radiant smile and a heart of gold, her aunt said. She was full of life, spunky and always cared for others. She was in a car with other teens when a chase started with boys in another car and shots were fired.

Greg Leon Cummings

Sept. 25

Cummings, 66, loved to fish and share his hobby with his children and grandchildren. New camping gear and fishing poles he bought for family were found at his home after he died. He worked as a pharmacist in the U.S. Army and owned a restaurant, Casa Del Taco. He was a member of Woodlawn Baptist Church. Police said he was fatally shot by a man leaving a home where he shot two others, including a 5-year-old.

Michael Raymond Martinez

Sept. 30

Martinez, 42, had lots of tattoos and lots of children - eight of them. One person who donated to a GoFundMe page to help with his burial costs said that "God used him to save me from a bad situation once." He was fatally shot at a hotel.

Jess Aurthor Jackson

Oct. 5

Jackson, 41, was fatally shot by an officer after he picked up a gun and raised it toward officers.

My'onna Townley

Oct. 10

Townley, 1, was found not breathing by officers and died at a hospital. She had unspecified "trauma on her body," police said. Her mother has been arrested in the death.

De’Sabian JaKing Williams
De’Sabian JaKing Williams  

De'Sabian JaKing Williams

Oct. 15

Williams, 21, was killed two days after his son was born, according to a GoFundMe page. He liked working on and repairing computers and game systems. He also liked writing and producing music. He was found dead inside an apartment when police responded to a call about shots being fired.

Diego Antonio Benitez

Oct. 30

Benitez, 17, was a junior at Wichita West High School when he was found shot multiple times.

Braekwon Eugene JaQur Bennett
Braekwon Eugene JaQur Bennett  

Braekwon Eugene JaQur Bennett, Sr.

Nov. 1

Bennett, 22, had two children, according to his funeral program. He had a passion for cars that started at a young age and had a car detailing business. He was fatally shot during a fight at an apartment.

Brandi Williams

Nov. 7

Williams, 16, was a "strong-willed young lady but was very smart," one of her former teachers at John Marshall Middle School wrote on an online guestbook after her death. Another employee wrote that she was a "little sassy and a whole lot of special, and her smile and laugh could light up the room." Williams would try to cheer her up when she was down. Williams and another teenage girl were both shot during a fight with a couple of teenage boys, police said.

Monzell Deearl Brocks

Nov. 10

Brocks, 45, loved to cook and share his cooking with others. He had dimples when he smiled and would end conversations by saying "Merry Christmas," which he saw as meaning a blessing to see them another day, according to his obituary. Brocks was working at Denny's when he was fatally shot.

Matthew Andrew Rodriguez

Nov. 17

Rodriguez, 27, shot himself before his roommate shot him two more times, police said.

Alonzo Haywood
Alonzo Haywood  

Alonzo Ga'Ron Haywood Sr.

Nov. 28

Haywood, 31, was engaged and had three children with another on the way. He was a standout basketball player at Bethel College. He hit the ground after being punched during a scuffle outside of a bar after closing time. He died two days later.

Waylon Treat

Nov. 29

Treat, 13, was an eighth-grader at Truesdell Middle School. After he was accidentally shot by a relative handling a firearm, principal Victoria Manning sent a letter to families that said Treat was a wonderful child.

Stephen Henry Long

Dec. 1

Long, 50, was born in Seoul, Korea. He was very proud of his service in the U.S. Air Force, according to his obituary. He had five grandchildren. While leaving a bar, the Texan got into an argument, was shoved and hit his head when he fell, according to police. He died at the scene.

Rosane Schweitzer Machado
Rosane Schweitzer Machado  

Rosane Schweitzer Machado

Dec. 4

Machado, 64, was born in Brazil. She was a longtime missionary who survived multiple bouts with cancer. She taught a Bible study class at Asbury Church in north Wichita for more than a decade. Machado and her husband were stabbed in a random, daytime attack in their home. Her husband survived.

Michael James LaForge

Dec. 12

LaForge, 34, was a mama's boy and didn't care who knew it, a speaker said during his funeral. One of the last times he saw his mother was during a visit to Spangles. The song "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" came on. The former Wichita West High School student told his mother no one was watching, to take his hand and he'd lead. A person found LaForge, who was homeless, shot dead.

Contributing: Amy Leiker and Eduardo Castillo of The Eagle

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