WPD: Suspect injured in downtown Wichita officer-involved shooting had multiple warrants

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Friday, January 11, 2019

(Source: Wichita Police Department/Facebook)

The Wichita Police Department says the man injured in an officer-involved shooting in downtown Wichita on Thursday had multiple warrants.

Police say the 29-year-old had two warrants out of Sedgwick County. The first was for three counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated battery and aggravated assault. In this case, the man allegedly entered a home armed with a handgun along with other armed suspects, beat up three men in the home and a shot was fired. The suspects stole property and then left the home.

His second Sedgwick County warrant was for aggravated assault and attempted theft. He's accused of pointing a handgun and threatened loss prevention employees to avoid apprehension.

The man also has traffic warrants out of Newton and Wichita.

Police say multiple attempts had made to allow the man to turn himself in peacefully.

On Thursday, two Wichita Police Officers and a Kansas Department of Corrections went to the Sedgwick County Corrections Office to conduct a follow-up on the suspect. They believed he'd be there with his 26-year-old girlfriend.

Around 1 p.m., officers observed the man driving a red 2008 Ford Focus and park in a stall. His girlfriend got out of the car and went inside the corrections office.

A KDOC employee then pulled behind the suspect vehicle. Two WPD officers parked in an unmarked vehicle approached the front of the suspect vehicle. They drew their handguns and gave verbal commands for the suspect to exit the vehicle.

Police say the man refused to get out of the car and put it in reverse ramming the KDOC vehicle. He then pulled forward turning toward a WPD officer on the driver's side of the vehicle, almost hitting him. The two WPD officers fired multiple shots toward the suspect vehicle, striking the suspect multiple times.

The suspect then drove over a parking block, hit a metal pole in the parking lot, struck a concrete pillar, drove across Main Street and crashed into a concrete fence on the east side of the Main.

A WPD officer removed the suspect from the car after the crash, injuring his arm in the process. The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police say the suspect was in possession of a handgun at the time. The Ford Focus was determined to be stolen.

The WPD officers involved in the shooting have been on the force for 13 years and 5 years. Both are part of the WPD Violent Crimes Task Force, focusing on arresting the most violent offenders.

"The continued proactive work of this task force has helped reduce shootings in Wichita and keep citizens safe," the Wichita Police Department said in a release.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol in officer-involved shootings.

The investigation is ongoing and the case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Wichita police officer is in fair condition and a 29-year-old man is in serious condition following a shooting in downtown Wichita Thursday afternoon.

Dep. Chief Troy Livingston said around 1 p.m., Wichita police officers, the U.S. Marshals, and other state agencies arrived at the Sedgwick County Division of Corrections, 905 N. Main, to arrest the man on a felony warrant for aggravated assault.

Livingston said the suspect was known to be armed. He said officers got into position and started making commands. When they got out to approach the man's vehicle, he put it into reverse hitting the vehicle behind him, which is a Durango that belongs to the U.S. Marshals.

Livingston said the man then put the vehicle in drive, putting the Wichita Police officer in what he presumed was a threatening position. The man then struck a pillar in the front of the business, ran over the steps, and ran into a wall across the street.

Officers fired at the suspect striking him multiple times. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

A person who was in the vehicle with the man at the time of the shooting was taken to the Wichita Police Department for questioning.

The Wichita Police Officer involved in the shooting was taken to the hospital in fair condition. He is a 13-year veteran of the police department.

Personal protection expert and law-enforcement veteran Joe Schillaci says arresting potentially violent offenders is is a hard job for officers.

"It's extremely dangerous. It is extremely volatile and unpredictable," he says.

Schillaci says when a violent offender wants to get away from law enforcement, officers worry about a new threat: the car.

"In most situations, we are more worried about their cars than the guns because it's not a gun, now it's a 2,000-pound weapon you're dealing with," he says.

Schillaci says it's not only dangerous for officers, but also for people nearby. Wichita police say this is why officers fired at the suspect Thursday.