WICHITA, Kan. — As a stabbing victim lay dying on the floor of a Kansas convenience store, five shoppers, including one who stopped to take a picture of her with a cell phone, stepped over the woman, police said.
The June 23 incident, captured on a store surveillance video, received scant news coverage until a columnist for The Wichita Eagle first disclosed Tuesday the existence of the video and its contents.
Police have repeatedly refused to release the video, saying it is part of their investigation.
"It was tragic to watch," police spokesman Gordon Bassham said Tuesday. "The fact that people were more interested in taking a picture with a cell phone and shopping for snacks rather than helping this innocent young woman is, frankly, revolting."
LaShanda Calloway was stabbed during a fight at the store, but it was not part of a robbery, Bassham said. It took about two minutes for someone to call police to report the crime, he said.
Calloway, 27, died at a hospital from her injuries.
"The lack of concern for humanity over this young woman's life is deeply troubling," Bassham said.
Bassham said the district attorney's office would have to decide whether any of the shoppers could be charged.
It was uncertain what law, if any, would be applicable. A state statute for failure to render aid specifically refers only to victims of a car accident.
Two suspects arrested
Two suspects have been arrested in the stabbing. Cherish M. McCullough, 19, was charged with first-degree murder. Another suspect, who turned himself in a few days later, had not yet been charged Tuesday, according to the Sedgwick County prosecutor's office.
Eagle columnist Mark McCormick told The Associated Press he learned about the video when he called Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams to ask about a phone call he had received from a reader complaining about a Police Department policy that requires emergency medical personnel to wait until police secure a crime scene before rendering aid.
"This is just appalling," Williams told the newspaper. "I could continue shopping and not render aid and then take time out to take a picture? That's crazy. What happened to our respect for life?"
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