Archive for Thursday, October 5, 2006

2 charged in Speedway shooting

October 5, 2006

An Edwardsville resident who is a 25-year veteran of the Kansas City, Kan., police department was shot Sunday night when she interrupted a robbery at the Kansas Speedway. Susan Brown, a detective with the police department, was in uniform and working security for the track when she interrupted a robbery in progress about 8 p.m. at the vault where vendors' cash and receipts are deposited.

Brown was shot several times and later was flown by air ambulance to an area hospital. She was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon; later, her condition was upgraded to fair. Brown is a 25-year veteran of the force.

Nolden Garner, 51, of Grandview, Mo., and Fredrick Douglas, 66, of Kansas City, Kan., were charged Tuesday by the Wyandotte County district attorney with attempted capital murder. The charges say they fired at Brown while she was on the ground.

The maximum penalty each could face for the attempted capital murder charge -- the charge is not attempted murder because Brown was considered to be working as a police officer at the time of the crime -- will depend on the number of felonies they had been convicted of. If each had been convicted of three or more previous felonies and convicted, they could be eligible for up to 653 months, or more than 54 years. The minimum penalty for attempted capital murder is 147 months, or just more than 12 years.

Wyandotte County Dist. Atty. Jerome Gorman said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon that Garner and Douglas were additionally each charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated burglary. Garner was also charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun. Each is being held in the Wyandotte County jail on a $1 million bond. They were scheduled to have their first court appearances Wednesday afternoon in Wyandotte County District Court.

The charges say the aggravated robbery charge was for taking Brown's gun during the incident. Gorman said he didn't believe Brown was shot with her own gun.

The charges also say an employee working at the Speedway, Brett Beemer, was shot at by the suspects. Gorman said Beemer sustained minor injuries, was treated afterward and released.

Garner's previous conviction, Gorman said, was a federal conviction in the western district of Missouri.

Earlier, Capt. James Brown of the Kansas City, Kan., police held a press conference Monday to discuss the shooting. Brown, the department's public information officer, said the detective had been one of several off-duty police officers working security for the racetrack Sunday night.

He said the officer had been awake since she was hospitalized and that she had been helpful to the investigation. She was to have more medical procedures performed this week, he said.

Brown said "we're very confident" that Garner and Douglas had been the only shooters Sunday night, and that they had "shot their way in and shot their way out" of the building where speedway vendors deposit their cash and receipts.

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