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Investigation continues, community shaken after 14-year-old shot in face at Ulysses park

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 2:36 PM CDT
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ULYSSES, Kan. (KWCH) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Ulysses Police Department are investigating after a Ulysses teen was shot in a park on Wednesday evening.

Around 6:30 p.m., a resident who lives near Russ Binney Park called 911 after hearing shots fired in the park. Officers responded to the park at the northeast corner of the intersection of W. Santa Fe Ave. and S. College St., where they found a 14-year-old boy who had been shot in the face.

Investigators learned six teenagers, four boys and two girls, were in the park when the 14-year-old was struck by a round from a handgun in the possession of one of the teens.

EMS responded and took the teen to the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital. He was later flown to Ascension Via Christi hospital in Wichita where he’s in critical condition.

Meanwhile, in Ulysses, neighbors are trying to figure out what happened Wednesday evening at the park.

Cynthia Valdez lives across the street from where the shooting happened. She said at first, she thought she heard fireworks. But when she heard a second shot, she said she knew it was gunfire. She called 911.

“It told them It thought it was fireworks, but then I saw a bunch of kids running from there,” she said.

Friends of the injured teen said he’s an eighth-grade student who was at track practice Wednesday afternoon. They said they’re shocked by what happened. Greg Soelter, who lives near where the shooting happened, spoke the unusual nature of something like this happening in Ulysses. Now, the community is praying for the injured teen and his family.

“My heart goes out to everyone, especially the families,” Soelter said.

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