murder suspect arrested in dodge city


salina journal

shortly after 7 p.m. monday, authorities arrested the second man sought in connection with sunday’s fatal shooting in sunset park in west salina.

jose m. garay, 28, of salina, was arrested in dodge city, deputy salina police chief carson mansfield said. he said details of the arrest would be released today.

derek dean rico, 17, was shot with a medium-caliber handgun, police said.

rico was killed at 7:40 p.m. sunday. deputy salina police chief carson mansfield wouldn’t disclose what police think caused the argument that led to the shooting near the parks’s playground.

sunday night, police arrested juan pablo ramos jr., 18, 738 n. second. he’s been charged with aiding a felon. mansfield said ramos turned himself in at the salina police department.

news of a 17-year-old’s shooting death sunday evening in sunset park put the victim’s family in shock.

gailynn rico received a telephone call moments after the 7:40 p.m. shooting relaying the news that her son, derek dean rico, was lying shot in the park.

“i don’t know, we all kind of thought it was maybe just a stray bullet that hit him in the arm or leg or something,” rico’s brother-in-law, steven helzer, said monday.

“we weren’t expecting what we got, that’s for sure,” said nickel helzer, rico’s sister and steven helzer’s wife.

the call came from rico’s girlfriend, kyan woods. rico, woods and their 10-month-old baby had gone to the park to attend a celebratory barbecue for a friend’s birthday, steven helzer said.

rico wouldn’t have taken woods or the baby if he thought there might have been trouble brewing, the couple said.

deputy salina police chief carson mansfield said rico was shot once with a medium caliber handgun during an argument at salina’s sunset park. he wouldn’t disclose what the argument was about.

mansfield wouldn’t say monday whether a weapon was recovered.

mansfield said there were eyewitnesses to the shooting. he said the park was crowded at the time of the murder. the shooting occurred near the park playground.

authorities said some of those involved in the shooting claimed gang affiliation.

garay was due to appear in saline county district court today in an unrelated case accusing him of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and stalking, for violating a protective order against a woman. garay was set to appear at 3 p.m. before district judge rene young for scheduling of a preliminary hearing.

a financial affidavit filed in that case in april shows garay owns a 1997 chevrolet pickup. he had been unemployed the previous two months but had formerly worked for stress cast inc., of assaria.

for more on this story, stay with and read tuesday’s salina journal.

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