The man shot to death by a police officer late Friday night in southeast Wichita appeared to be leaving his apartment when he came face-to-face with an officer at his front door, Police Chief Norman Williams said Monday.
Rather than obey the officer's repeated commands to drop the 9mm handgun he was holding, however, Jerome Dixon pointed it at the officer, police said, who then fired several times as he backed away from the door and off the front porch in search of protective cover.
Dixon, 32, was shot a couple of minutes before midnight and pronounced dead at 12:41 a.m. Saturday morning at Wesley Medical Center.
The amount of time between when Dixon stepped out of the door and the officer fired "was within seconds," Williams said.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure any time an officer fires his weapon.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is leading an inquiry into the shooting.
A preliminary investigation indicates the officer was justified in firing his gun and handled the situation just as he had been trained to do, Williams said.
The same two officers had been to the apartment at 4818 E. New Jersey Drive, northeast of Oliver and 31st South, shortly before 10:30 p.m. Friday. They checked on a report of loud arguing and a shot fired.
They could not find the person who fired the shot, Williams said, and they left. Another call to 911 reported loud music from that address at 11:48 p.m. Friday.
When they returned to the address, one officer went to the front door while another took position next to a set of windows on the east side of the building facing south, Williams said. From there, the officer could see and hear a woman arguing with an unseen man.
Before the officer at the front could knock on the door, Dixon started coming out, a silver handgun in his right hand at about waist level, Williams said.
"He opens the door, walks out, and there's a police officer," Williams said.
The officer identified himself, saw the gun and ordered him more than once to drop it. Instead, Dixon raised the gun and pointed it at the officer.
"He could see the end of the barrel," Williams said of the officer, a five-year veteran of the force.
Dixon did not fire his gun, Williams said. It had one bullet in the chamber and 12 rounds in the magazine clip.
Investigators found a spent shell casing in the backyard after sunrise on Saturday, Williams said. The casing matched the bullets in Dixon's gun, which was reported stolen in 2000.
He had been arguing with a relative who lives in a townhouse east of the apartment over the past couple of days, investigators later learned.
Friends and family told investigators that Dixon had been drinking throughout the day and into the early evening prior to the confrontation with police.
He lived at the apartment with his girlfriend and their three children — a 7-year-old boy and girls ages 3 and 2, said Lt. Ken Landwehr, who heads the homicide section of the Police Department. The woman's sister and at least one other child were also at the apartment at the time of the shooting. None of them were injured in the incident.