Hispanic victims of an alleged attempted murder by a black man told police that comments about their race made them fear the suspect, who had wielded a gun during a confrontation with them at a bar, an affidavit says.
Two men and a woman were driving on Iowa Street near Bob Billings Parkway about 2 a.m. Feb. 5 when a man pulled up beside them and fired three gunshots into their moving car, shattering both front windows but missing the occupants, according to an affidavit prepared by police in support of the arrest of Alfred Dewayne Sanders, 46, of Lawrence.
The Journal-World recently received the affidavit after requesting it from Douglas County District Court.
Sanders has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in the matter, according to court records. His jury trial is scheduled for April 23.
According to the affidavit:
The victims had argued with Sanders earlier that night inside Astro’s Billiards and Bar, 601 Kasold Drive. They told police that during one of multiple encounters with Sanders, he came up to their table, pulled out a gun and loaded it.
Victims, whose statements were translated to detectives by other police officers, told police they didn’t know why Sanders approached them or would have a problem with them.
The victim driving the car when it was shot told police he used to work with Sanders at a Lawrence restaurant. The victim said Sanders’ wife, who still works at the restaurant, once told him that Sanders “does not like Mexicans and to stay away from him because he is crazy and carries guns.”
Another victim told police that Sanders approached him at the bar and made a comment “along the lines of he did not like Mexicans.”
Outside the bar the driver told police he saw Sanders, who had been with three other black men, driving a black SUV behind him.
On Iowa Street, the driver saw the SUV come up behind him at a high rate of speed, then pull directly beside him. He told police he saw Sanders, who was driving, point a handgun at his vehicle and fire three rounds in succession.
The driver said he ducked and slammed on his brakes, and that bullets went in through his passenger side window and out through the driver’s side window, shattering both.
He told his passengers to call 911 while he followed the SUV so police would be able to find it. He followed it to an apartment complex at 2040 Heatherwood Drive, where Sanders got out of the SUV and approached the victim’s car, pistol in hand.
At that point, the driver left the area to find police. He spotted and flagged down an officer at a nearby grocery store.
When driving the victims to the police station for interviews, officers spotted Sanders — whom the victim pointed out as the man who shot at him — walking in the middle of the roadway on Kasold near the apartment complex.
Police talked with Sanders and took him to the station for questioning, as well. After police collected a gunshot residue test from his hands, Sanders told them he didn’t possess firearms because he is a felon and isn’t allowed to. After police read him his Miranda rights, he said he did not want to talk to investigators.
Police reviewed traffic cameras and saw both vehicles’ movements at several intersections, consistent with the victim’s story. Officers found shattered glass and a 9mm bullet casing in the roadway on Iowa. A police dog searched the area where Sanders was walking for a discarded gun but did not find one.
Sanders — who now faces five felony counts in connection with the incident — posted bond and was released from jail on Feb. 26, according to court records. His bond was $60,000.
He initially was charged with one count each of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault, both felonies, plus one count of criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor.
Those charges were upgraded after Sanders’ preliminary hearing on Feb. 15. According to amended charges, prosecutors added two more counts of aggravated assault, for the other two victims in the car with the driver, plus one count of criminal discharge of a firearm, all felonies.