The Garden City Police Department still is investigating circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a man Saturday. The department remained tight lipped about additional details, apart from the information that the shooter had been apprehended.
According to police, officers responded to Dillons East, 1305 E. Kansas Ave., at about 5:10 p.m. Saturday and found Jeremy Pascascio lying in the parking lot with apparent gunshot wounds to his upper body. Pascascio was transported to St. Catherine Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.
Police say Wichita resident Loren Wiseman and an adult woman had driven to the parking lot at Dillons East, where Pascascio approached the car and a verbal confrontation ensued. According to police, Wiseman shot Pascascio with a handgun at some point during the confrontation.
Police received information that Wiseman had then driven to the nearby Garden City Family YMCA, 1224 Center St. Officers arrested Wiseman without incident at the YMCA at about 5:20 p.m.
Wiseman is in custody in the Finney County Jail.
According to police, it is unclear whether Pascascio and Wiseman knew each other.
Sgt. Bill Powers of the GCPD Office of Professional Standards said the incident was under investigation, and no information will be released at the moment. He would not comment on the relationship between Wiseman and Pascascio or the woman in the car with Wiseman when the shooting happened. He did, however, confirm that only one person connected to the incident was arrested.
Many shoppers at Dillons who spoke about the shooting incident on Monday described it as a solitary incident that would be handled by law enforcement in due time. Many walked over sand that covered the spot where Pascascio had laid, scattering it without even a pause in their activities.
However, for Elvia Castaneda and Francisco Gomez, the shooting in the store’s parking lot was too close for comfort. Their 16-year-old daughter works at Dillons East, and was in the parking lot when the shots were fired.
“She was getting carts, and when she was going inside she heard the gunshots,” she said. “Somebody was driving by here and rolled down their window and said, ‘I think somebody just got shot; can you go tell your supervisor?’”
According to Castaneda, her daughter saw Pascascio lying on the ground, but she said her teenage daughter is a “strong person” and is handling the episode quite impressively.
“She said she wasn’t scared of the gunshots, just that she was in the place at the time when it happened,” Castaneda said. “Just that it could have been her.
“It is a scary situation, but it can happen to any one of us,” Castaneda added. “Stuff like that happens, and we can’t prevent it.”
Gomez said the government should be more serious about putting security stays on weapons.
“They can put a chip in an animal but they cannot put a chip in a gun?” Gomez asked. “If somebody has a gun in a school or a store, that way they could be identified before a tragedy happens.”
Cynthia Gayden, who stands at the entrance ringing the bell during the Christmas season, had just left her post when the shooting happened.
“It is kind of scary; I didn’t want to come back,” she said. But reports that Wiseman was in custody comforted her somewhat, she said.
“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” Ronald Savoy said. “This is not something Garden City or even Dillons is known for.”
However, Savoy said he did not feel threatened by what happened, and believes it was a misunderstanding that ended in tragedy.
“I have been shopping at Dillons for 16 years, and we’ve never had any issues with security,” he said.
“I have shopped at Dillons most of my life and I have never really felt threatened,” Phyllis Wells said. “I think those two people had a beef with one another. I don’t think it was a random thing; he didn’t just pick out someone and shoot.”
Wells still feels safe going to Dillons and around Garden City.
“There’s been a few times I have read about people stealing groceries at stores but nothing serious,” she said.
Dillon Stores spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie declined to comment, other than to say: “It is a matter under investigation, so I cannot say anything.”