Wichita police: Suspect in officer-involved shooting wasn’t armed

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay briefed the media Monday morning on an officer-involved shooting Sunday. It happened near 29th and Arkansas around 5:23 p.m.

At 5:12 p.m., officers received a call of a robbery at the Johnson General Store at 53rd and Meridian. A witness followed the suspect in a black BMW and was able to provide 911 dispatch and police with information on the suspect.

Police located the suspect who refused to stop. The suspect drove through a front yard in the 3800 block of Arkansas before coming to a stop near 29th and Jackson.

Chief Gordon Ramsay said the suspect was pursued by a Park City officer and a Wichita police sergeant.

“The police sergeant noticed as the suspect got of the vehicle, he was holding onto his pants, as if he had a gun in his pants,” said Chief Ramsay. “An independent video was shot by a passerby that is circulating on social media. It shows the stop and driver fleeing the scene. The video was helpful as it corroborates what the sergeant was seeing as far as the suspect hanging onto his pants.”

VIDEO: EYEWITNESS VIDEO BEFORE OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING

The sergeant said the suspect continued to hang onto his pants as he ran through the backyard of house on Arkansas. The suspect ran south and ended up at 29th and Arkansas at a red light. He tried to get into one car, but because it was locked he went to a second car.

“He was able to get into a back door of the vehicle. This car was occupied by a male and female. The male in the car said that he believed that this male (suspect) was going to kill them,” said Chief Ramsay.

“No weapon has been located on the suspect, or recovered from his vehicle. In hindsight, there was never a weapon involved. The officer at the time did,” Chief Gordon Ramsay, Wichita Police Department

The sergeant, concerned for the safety of those inside fired his gun multiple times, striking the suspect.

The suspect, a 24-year-old man, was taken to Via Christi St. Francis where he underwent surgery. Police said he was alert and talking Monday morning.

“He was released August 19, 2016 from prison. He is a documented gang member. He is known to the police department. He has multiple felony convictions for firearm, burglary, and theft,” added Ramsay.

Ramsay said as the investigation continued, they learned that the suspect had no weapon.

“No weapon has been located on the suspect, or recovered from his vehicle. In hindsight, there was never a weapon involved. The officer at the time did,” said Ramsay.

Chief Ramsay also detailed more information about the robbery at Johnson’s General Store. Ramsay said the suspect paid for gas, but after paying, he went behind the counter and demanded money. He ripped the cash register out and carried it to his car. During that time, a fight between the suspect and his mother occurred.  A 3-year-old child and the cash register was pulled out of the car by witnesses. Once the fight ended, the suspect grabbed the 3-year-old child, and the suspect’s mother climbed into the car before taking off.

Ramsay has reached out to the suspect’s mother and has left a message to speak with her.

“I would like to offer my support and the understanding of the incident. While the suspect made some very bad and dangerous decisions, we still have to remember he is son, a father and family member,” said Ramsay. “As a department, we place tremendous respect and value on the sanctity of human life. Our thoughts go out to them as well.”

The sergeant involved in the shooting is a 22-year-veteran of the department, and he is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. He wasn’t injured.

Chief Ramsay said the sergeant wasn’t wearing a body camera. Ramsay said all patrol officers wear a body camera, but supervisors do not. It is something he would like to see added.

“I would like to have body cameras for everybody. It boils down to finance, and the decision was made not to, when these systems were based on dollar amount. It is rare for supervisors to get involved to be the first one at the scene in these cases.”

Right now, there are 429 body cameras out in the field in Wichita.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the shooting.

VIDEO: WICHITA POLICE ADDRESS OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING

 

DOCUMENT: SUSPECT’S CRIMINAL HISTORY

 

suspects-criminal-history

STORY BELOW PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 18, 2016:

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A man is in critical but stable condition after an officer-involved shooting. It happened near 29th and Arkansas just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

Officers received a robbery call around 5 p.m. at 53rd and Meridian.

When they arrived on the scene at Johnson’s General Store, the suspect took off.

A citizen followed the suspect and called 911 to tell them what direction he was headed.

According to Deputy Chief Gavin Seiler, Wichita Police department, the suspect then tried to steal a car at 29th and Arkansas.

“He was unsuccessful in getting into the first one, but got into the second vehicle and was in the back seat of that vehicle when the officer engaged him there,” says Seiler. “Shots were fired.”

According to Seiler, a Wichita Police Department patrol officer shot the suspect.

The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

There were two people inside the car when at least one of the shots was fired at the suspect.

“Officer not physically injured,” tweeted Chief Ramsay. “One suspect at hospital being treated.”

“We are talking to the people that were inside that car,” says Seiler.

There is no word yet on why the officer opened fire.

Other agencies were involved during the pursuit, including Sedgwick County and Park City.

No other people or officers were injured, other than the suspect.

The area was shut down for about five hours.

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