Parsons Sun

PARSONS — At least 30 rounds of ammunition were fired from two guns early Sunday morning outside of a Parsons bar and grill. No arrests have been made, though persons of interest have been identified.

A man in his 60s, who was moving away from the parking lot at PK Bar and Grill, 2106 Crawford, was shot in the back by one of the bullets. The bullet ended up in his cheek and he was taken to Labette Health and then transferred to a Joplin hospital. 

The man, whose identity has not released, was found in the southeast part of the parking lot. No other injuries were reported.

Parsons police were called at 2:08 am Sunday to the bar, which had celebrated its one-year anniversary a week before. On Saturday, hip-hop DJ from Tulsa YG Oklahoma was to be at the bar. The bar closes at 2 am and a release from the Parsons Police Department estimated that patrolmen encountered 100 people in the parking lot when they responded to the report of gunshots. Statements on social media dispute that estimate. Parsons Police Commander Mike Powell said there were people at and leaving the bar and when the gunfire happened a number of people dropped by to the see what was happening after the shooting made social media rounds.

Powell said police cannot release the number of shell casings at this time until the Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab tests recovered bullets and determines if two or more weapons fired them. Police suspect two weapons at this time, a .223-caliber rifle and a .40-caliber handgun. The weapons were not recovered. 

He said some people claim to have heard 30 shots, others 50.

“There was a lot. There was a volume of shots being fired,” Powell said.

A number of bullet holes can be seen in the north wall of a storage building at T.H. Rogers Lumber Co., 2115 Washington, that’s adjacent to the bar. Some bullet holes appear to be smaller and others are much larger. Police didn’t know if any other buildings were damaged.

Powell said he didn’t know how many shooters there were Sunday morning, but it appears that both weapons were firing in the same direction, to the south or southeast. The shell casings were recovered on the north side of the parking lot east of the bar near Crawford Avenue.

One car had multiple gunshots and was impounded by police so they could recover the bullets. With that done, police released the vehicle to the registered owner on Sunday. Someone else apparently drove the vehicle the night of the shooting. At least two other vehicles parked at the bar sustained damage from gunfire, three or four rounds in each. Police allowed those vehicles to be driven home by their owners, Powell said.

Powell said police don’t know at this time if the person driving the impounded vehicle was the intended target of the gunfire. 

“And we still don’t know,” he said.

As the investigation tracks, Powell said police have developed a couple of people of interest.

“However, we’ve not been able to contact them, locate them, to be able to conduct interviews,” Powell said.

Police indicated the shooting may be related to gunfire at 28th and Clark on May 2.

In that shooting, witnesses told police that a white Cadillac Escalade and another vehicle, perhaps a white Dodge Durango or white minivan, exchanged gunfire. 

Officers found the unoccupied Escalade parked facing south at 26th and Gabriel. The vehicle had multiple bullet holes in it. Police impounded it.

Police recovered eight shell casings at or near 28th and Clark, but they could not confirm all eight related to the shooting. Witnesses reported hearing six to eight gunshots. Two homes near the intersection of 28th and Clark had what appeared to be bullet holes in them.

Powell said some of the same individuals’ names that came up in that shooting came up in the Sunday shooting.

Information continues to trickle into police. The large number of people in the parking lot early Sunday reportedly did not see or hear anything.

“It’s a tight-knit community and people do not want to provide a lot of information, which makes investigating these things a lot more difficult,” Powell said.

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