The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
Riley County police cited a Fort Riley soldier for underage drinking in Aggieville minutes before he allegedly shot and killed another Fort Riley soldier on early Saturday morning.
Police arrested Pfc. Tremelle Robert Montgomery, 19, Saturday in the death of Joshua J. Wardi, 21.
Prior to the shooting, police cited Montgomery for alcohol consumption by a minor at Tubby’s Sports Bar, 1127 Moro St. Minutes later, officers responded to the sound of gunfire at 12:32 a.m. Saturday outside of the bar.
In a statement Monday, Master Sgt. John Bentley of the Fort Riley Public Affairs office confirmed Montgomery and Wardi were stationed there.
Wardi was an automated logistical specialist assigned to the 526th Composite Supply Company of the 1st Infantry Division. Wardi arrived at Fort Riley in January 2021 and was a native of San Antonio, Texas.
Montgomery, who is from Decatur, Georgia, arrived at Fort Riley in May 2021. He entered the Army in August 2020 as a fire control specialist.
Investigators for the Kansas Bureau of Investigations said Wardi and Montgomery were at the same bar in Aggieville Friday night. They said the two men had a verbal fight later while they were outside with separate groups of friends. Witnesses said Montgomery then pulled out a gun and shot Wardi, according to the KBI.
Montgomery is facing four counts in total — one for first-degree murder and three more for attempted first-degree murder.
KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said the three counts of attempted murder are “for others in the area that (Montgomery) is alleged to have attempted to kill.” She said none of the three additional charges are related to the officer-involved shooting, but she declined to give more details about them.
The KBI said three Riley County police officers responded to the gunfire and found Wardi on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.
Two officers chased Montgomery, who they say was armed and ran from the area, according to the KBI. KBI officials said one officer fired two rounds at Montgomery during the chase. Montgomery was struck in the leg, causing him to stop on 12th Street between Moro and Laramie streets. The bureau said no officers were injured.
Emergency responders took Montgomery to Ascension Via Christi in Manhattan, and later to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka for further treatment. Underwood said Montgomery was not yet booked into jail, as he remained in the hospital Monday. He was still in stable condition Monday.
Based on department policy, RCPD said it placed the officers directly involved on paid, non-disciplinary leave to “ensure transparency and an impartial investigation.”
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