WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay released more details surrounding a weekend officer-involved shooting that left a man and a police K-9 dead.
He said on Sunday, officers were called to the 2300 block of W. MacArthur after a call came in to 911 about a 25-year-old man who pointed a gun and threatened to kill a woman and himself.
Officers arrived on the scene and found the woman outside the home. She told them the man had threatened to shoot her and had held her against her will.
Ramsay said police began formulating a plan to get the man out of the house peacefully as they were taking the woman's statement.
He said initially, the man came out of the house and walked toward officers with his hands up. Then, he put his hands down and started walking back toward the house.
"We don't like subjects to go back into the house," said Ramsay. "Officers were unsure if there were other people in the home."
He said at that time K-9 Rooster was deployed to keep the man from going back into the house "as he had committed a violent felony and potentially had access to weapons."
Ramsay said as the man turned around and started to walk back toward his home, one officer noticed that he had a handgun in his waistband and notified the other officers by shouting it out.
Ramsay said by that time Rooster had reached the man and grabbed his leg, holding him before he got back into the house.
"That was the plan of deploying the K-9, to keep the subject from going back into the home," he said.
Ramsay said as the man turned back around toward the officers, the officer who saw the gun in the waistband, noticed that the man reaching for it and grabbing for it, and shouted to the other officers.
Ramsay said the officer who saw the man reaching for the gun fired his weapon, as did the suspect. The officer fired four times. The officer is an 11-year veteran with the police department.
Ramsay said a second officer saw a muzzle flash coming from the suspect's handgun and thought he was being fired upon and shot his weapon three times. This officer is a two-year veteran with the police department.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave.
The suspect was taken to the hospital where he died a short time later. He has been identified as Kevin C. Perry.
Ramsay said he has watched multiple videos from the incident and has a pretty good idea of what happened.
He said Rooster is the first K-9 in the Wichita Police Department to die in the line of duty. The dog was shot in the shoulder and neck area.
Ramsay said Rooster was not wearing his vest when it was shot. He said the incident unfolded quickly and there was not enough time for the dog's handler to put the vest on.
"These vests are hot and heavy. The K-9 officers train in them to get the dogs used to them. But the reality is that we don't really like to wear the vests. The dogs don't either. The dogs begin to chew on them, after a time. We just don't keep them on them at all times," said Ramsay.
Ramsay said in general, had officers known Perry was armed, they would not have deployed Rooster.
He said looking at the preliminary evidence, he believes the suspect shot Rooster.
"it is unfortunate for everyone involved, the suspect's family and loved ones and friends. As well as the officers who were involved with this, especially the handler of Rooster," said Ramsay.
"This handler deeply loves this dog as do all of their handlers. They become part of their family," he said.
A memorial service honoring K-9 Officer Rooster will be held Friday, March 31 at 1 p.m. in Wichita City Hall, 455 N.Main. The service will be held in the Council Chambers on the 1st floor. The service is open to members of the community and all first responders.
Investigators from the Wichita Police Department, the KBI, and the district attorney's office are actively investigating the case.