“I encouraged them to go to Lawrence instead of Westport because Westport has been so violent and dangerous,” Gretchen Brown of Shawnee told the media on Sunday after her daughter Leah Brown was killed in an early morning shoot-out in Downtown Lawrence. Leah was one of three killed and two wounded. By all accounts, she was an innocent bystander. The Lawrence Police have yet to apprehend anyone responsible for the shooting.
According to early reports a fist fight broke out near the Granada Theater on Massachusetts Avenue, the site of a #ASSJAMZ event. Promotional material from an earlier #ASSJAMZ event read as follows: “PLAYING ALL YOUR FAVORITE JAMZ FROM TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, AND BACK IN THE DAY WHEN YOU WERE JUST LEARNING HOW TO SHAKE YR ASS IN THE MIRROR. NO COVER. GREAT DRINKS. BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. HOT DOODZ. SO MUCH BOOTY SWEAT ON THE GROUND YOU MIGHT DROWN IN IT. POSSIBLE BOOTY SHAKING CONTEST.”
Looking for useful story lines, the Kansas City Star tried this one out for size on shooting victim Colwin Lynn Henderson III, 20, of Topeka, “Relatives say Lawrence shooting victim was trying to be best father to new baby.” Henderson pleaded guilty in Shawnee County in September 2016 to two counts of aggravated battery and one count of criminal discharge of a firearm. He had recently been released from prison. On Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. he was out partying on the streets of Lawrence. Fortunately, his girlfriend, the mother of his ten-month-old daughter, was not with him.
The third person killed was Tre’Mel Dupree Dean, 24, also of Topeka. None of the three deceased were students at the University of Kansas. It will be interesting to see how the media cover this tragic event going forward. In the past, they have been inclined to blame “Westport” despite the entertainment district’s best efforts to screen out events like #ASSJAMZ. “Lawrence” will be a lot trickier.