Kansas Paper Discloses That Shoppers Ignored Stabbing Victim

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As stabbing victim LaShanda Calloway lay dying on the floor of a Wichita convenience store, five shoppers stepped over her. One of the shoppers stopped to take a picture of Calloway with a cell phone.

The June 23 incident, which was captured on a store surveillance video, had received scant news coverage until a columnist for The Wichita Eagle on Tuesday disclosed the existence of the video.

Police have 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.?

Calloway was stabbed in an altercation at the store, but it was not part of a robbery, Bassham said. It took about two minutes for someone to call 911 to report the crime, he said.

Calloway, 27, died later at a hospital.

Cherish M. McCullough, 19, was charged with first-degree murder in the case. Another person, who turned himself in a few days later, had not been charged as of Tuesday, according to the Sedgwick County prosecutor?s office.

?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 decide whether any of the shoppers could be charged.

?If the Police Department wants to present additional charges, we will look at that,? said Georgia Cole, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Nola Foulston.

It was uncertain what law, if any, would apply. A Kansas statute for failure to render aid refers only to victims of car accidents.

Eagle columnist Mark McCormick said he learned about the video when he called Police Chief Norman Williams to inquire about a reader?s complaint about a department policy that requires emergency medical personnel to wait until officers secure a crime scene before rendering aid.

McCormick said Williams then told him about the shoppers in the Calloway case.

?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??

Bassham said police have received reports that the cell-phone photo has appeared on the Internet but could not substantiate the reports.

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