Walter Edward Taylor III could be charged today, Travis Schneider identified as shooting victim

Walter Edward Taylor

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Sumner County Attorney’s office is currently investigating whether or not to bring forth formal charges against 21-year-old Walter Edward Taylor, suspected of second-degree murder in the Wednesday’s shooting case in east Wellington.

Taylor is accused of shooting and killing 34-year-old Travis Schneider from Wellington during what appears to be “simply a senseless act of violence,” according to Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath.

The shooting occurred Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. just east of the Hargis Creek Bridge on U.S. 160 involving two vehicles, both containing a driver and a passenger.

Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said he is expecting to finalize either submitting charges or dismissing the case by 4 p.m. today. Taylor is currently in custody at Sumner County jail being held without bond. 

Heath would not speculate on whether or not there was a motive to the crime or the circumstances that led up to the shooting.

A driver of a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville, who has not been identified by the WPD publicly, allegedly pulled up from the inside lane next to Schneider who was driving a 2005 Ford Ranger pickup in the outside lane. Both cars were headed westbound. Allegedly, according to Heath, Taylor, who was a passenger, had in possession a small-caliber handgun. He allegedly shot Schneider in the upper chest just as he was driving past the Dollar General store parking lot.

Schneider, who had a female passenger in the pickup with him, was able to pull over and bring the vehicle to a stop. Heath said Schneider had died before the police could arrive and was pronounced dead at the scene. The female passenger was unhurt. The driver and Taylor then drove off and was later apprehended where there was an immediate arrest.

Taylor is currently being held without bond on second-degree murder. It depends on the actions of the county attorney if a probable cause warrant will be released, which will establish a bond amount. Taylor is also booked and held on a $1,000 surety bond for 2019 traffic warrants concerning operating a motor vehicle without a valid license, maximum speed limits, and failure to comply with a citation.

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