WICHITA — A 41-year-old man who opened fire with a high-powered rifle in a northeast Wichita neighborhood was fatally wounded by police as he leveled the gun at them early this morning.
The man, who was shot shortly after 2:30 a.m. today in the 8900 block of East Churchill Court, died at about 6:15 a.m. at Wesley Medical Center, Lt. Todd Ojile said.
Residents who lived in the area, south of 21st Street about halfway between Rock Road and Webb Road, called 911 at about 2:20 a.m. to report shots being fired, authorities said.
Officers responding to the call heard more shots being fired as they worked their way through the Wilson Estates subdivision east of the Bradley Fair shopping center.
Nearing a cul-de-sac, they spotted a man in the driveway of a house, and saw him fire at a vehicle driving along the street, Ojile said.
"The vehicle then fled," Ojile said, and the driver escaped injury.
As the officers tried to close the distance between themselves and the gunman, using cover whenever possible, they saw the man fire shots at a house to the north and east.
Additional officers were called to the area, Ojile said, and they cordoned off surrounding streets. As officers were attempting to establish a perimeter around the house in the 8900 block of Churchill Court, the man appeared from around the corner of a privacy fence.
He raised his rifle at officers, who began scrambling for cover, but did not fire before he retreated around the corner in the darkness, Ojile said.
"A few seconds later, the individual reappeared from around the fence" with his rifle leveled at the officers, Ojile said. "At that time, officers opened fire on him."
The gunman was hit several times. He was pronounced dead at Wesley at 6:15 a.m., Ojile said.
His name has not yet been released.
Authorities have learned the man used to live at the house where he fired upon officers, but moved out more than a year ago. No one is currently living there, Ojile said.
There were people inside the house fired upon by the gunman, police said, but no one was injured.
Officers went to the man's house on East Mainsgate to make sure there were no victims left behind there, Ojile said.
Authorities do not know yet if the man was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He crashed his vehicle through the garage door of his former residence before the shooting rampage began.
He has no prior criminal history, police said, and it's not known yet why he moved from the house.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is heading the investigation into the incident.
This is the second officer-involved fatal shooting in less than a week. Last Friday night, a 32-year-old man was shot to death in south Wichita after he pointed a gun at an officer as he stepped outside his apartment.
Check Kansas.com for updates.