Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams says the men shot by police officers Friday morning put themselves in danger.
Chief Williams held a press conference Friday afternoon about the shooting that left a 17-year-old dead and two other men in fair condition.
Police say they located a fourth person to question, Bradlee Ohle. Ohle was located early Friday evening in Salina. Ohle owns a vehicle police saw leaving the house when they arrived to the scene.
The shooting happened just before five o'clock Friday morning in the 1200 block of West Crawford, near Seneca and Pawnee.
Police say eight people were inside the home, including a 2 year-old child, when four men armed with guns rushed inside with the intent to rob the home. A woman inside the home was able to call 911.
Officers quickly arrived on scene and began to surround the house when three suspects tried to get away. Chief Williams says the officers were at the back of the house when they saw the suspects run out the back door. He says officers saw that two of the three suspects had weapons in their hands.
Williams says the officer yelled to the suspects to stop. He says then one of the suspects turned towards the officer and that's when the officer fired multiple rounds from a shotgun. The officer struck one of the suspects and the other two ran. The other officer then fired, hitting the two men.
Chief Williams says officers knew going in that the suspects were armed based on the 911 call. He says the officers gave verbal commands and the suspects didn't comply like they should have. "It's always concerning when someone places our officers in a position to use deadly force," he said.
All three suspects went to the hospital with critical injuries, a 17 year-old died shortly after. Police found two weapons in the yard after the shooting.
No officers were hurt. Of the two that fired their weapons, one has been with the police department for 16 years the other for four years. Both are on administrative leave.
Police believe the house was targeted on purpose. "Our initial indications is that this was not a random robbery," Moses said.
A search of the home discovered there were drug located inside. Police are also looking at possible gang affiliations with the suspects involved.
"I was in bed and I heard about four or five gunshots ring out," said neighbor Al Bernauer. "I got up and there was police cars everywhere."
Bernauer's house has been robbed before, but he says nothing like this has happened in the neighborhood. "Being two doors down from it, that's pretty scary." Bernauer said.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office are now leading the investigation.
The Wichita Police Department released a statement Friday morning:
At approximately 04:45 a.m. on Friday morning officers responded to a call reporting that several armed suspects were in a house at 1201 W. Crawford. During that call officers were involved in a shooting which killed one suspect and critically injured two other suspects.
Deputy Chief Terri Moses said one of the occupants was able to call 911 to report the home invasion. When officers arrived at the residence they observed armed suspects inside.
After officers surrounded the home, three suspects exited the back door. Officers confronted the armed suspects and ordered them to drop their weapons. The suspects did not comply and they were subsequently shot by officers.
One suspect a 17 year old man was shot and killed by officers; he was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. Two other suspects, a 20 year old man and a 19 year old man were shot by officers and taken to local hospitals in critical condition.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, along with the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The Department is cooperating with both agencies during their investigations.
The officers who fired the shots have been employed with the Department for approximately 16 years and 4 years respectively. As standard Department policy the officers have been placed on administrative leave.