Questions remain about deadly officer-involved shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Questions remain about the deadly officer-involved shooting that happened more than a week ago in southwest Wichita.

The Wichita Police Department responded to a report of a murder and hostage situation December 28th.

They say a man came out of the house and initially followed their commands, but they say an officer shot him when he dropped his hands to the waistband of his pants, fearing he had a gun.

The victim has been identified as 28-year-old Andrew Finch.  Police say he was unarmed.

Through an investigation, Wichita police learned that the 911 call was fake, a so-called swatting call.

Police have arrested 25-year-old Tyler Barriss for allegedly making that phony call.

On Wednesday, he waived his extradition from California to Kansas and should be in Wichita within the next couple weeks.

Lifelong Wichita resident Doug Ballard has plenty of questions after watching the seven seconds of body camera footage from last week’s officer involved shooting.

“I’ve watched it 25 times, I don’t see the urgency in shooting that guy from that far away,” said Ballard.

Which is why Ballard is one of a handful of people, who has signed up to voice his questions and concerns to the city council on Tuesday.

“What concerns me the most is we’ve seen a seven second video and who decided what seven seconds we’d get to watch,” said Ballard.

KSN sat down with Chief Gordon Ramsay, who spoke about the ongoing investigation into this incident and addressed some of these questions from the community.

“That was the camera that provided the most depiction of what happened.  There were guys behind cover, guys that we in other areas that had no relevance to the actual police shooting,” said Chief Ramsay.

Chief Ramsay confirmed earlier in the week that he sought out advice from 40 to 50 people in community to help in his decision to release some of the camera footage, along with the 911 audio.

One of those people was youth mentor David Gilkey.

“He was just letting me know that he was going to put it out in the media about the call and the shooting and that speaks volumes and my hat goes off to the Chief for even doing that,” said Gilkey.

Among the other community leaders Ramsay spoke to were City Councilman-Elect Brandon Johnson and Pastor Roosevelt DeShazer, the leader of the God Squad.

Both say they had short conversations with the chief after the shooting.

While some in the community continue to ask questions, Chief Ramsay cautions releasing information in a high profile case like this is an in-depth process.

“My vision is to provide as much information critical incidents and officer involved shootings as possible and we have to balance providing information to the public, and giving them as much as we can, without interfering with a investigation,” said Chief Ramsay. “I’m hopeful that the questions will be answered and I’m hopeful that they’ll actually do something to keep this from happening again,” added Ballard.

Moving forward, Chief Ramsay says discussion over sensitive cases like this are critical

“It is critical for me that we have a discussion with our community on this and that when we take action that there is discussion on it. How can we be better? What is our community expectations? Let’s talk through these sensitive case and seek to understand the facts,” said Chief Ramsay.

Chief Ramsay says more people are being questioned in the case, but so far, no additional arrests have been made.


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