A suspected carjacker who was shot by police in southeast Wichita after a chase and a car wreck with a detective on Friday has been booked into jail.
Michael Lee Martinez, 30, is in Sedgwick County jail charged with multiple counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault of a police officer, and aggravated assault. He is being held on $750,000 bond.
Police said he was shot in his right arm, above his wrist, and suffered two superficial wounds to his abdomen on his right side after being shot multiple times by police shortly before 3 p.m. Friday. Police said he had aimed a gun at two police supervisors on two separate occasions, and may have fired a shot while being pursued.
Police said he also is suspected in an armed carjacking Thursday at Towne East Square, a subsequent armed robbery at Las Tarascas Bakery, 5701 E. Lincoln, and may have been involved in similar crimes in the area recently. They think the man used the neighborhood near Lincoln and Governeour, near Cottonwood Park, as a dumping ground for vehicles he stole.
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Police Chief Norman Williams gave this account of Friday’s shooting:
At about 2:23 p.m., a 24-year-old woman called 911 after her Saturn was taken from her at gunpoint in the Dillon’s parking lot at 9450 E. Harry. Officers who had been patrolling the area of Lincoln and Governeour due to the earlier crimes spotted the stolen car going south on Governeour from Lincoln.
The suspect tried to elude them by taking back streets through the neighborhood, Williams said. Eventually he drove over a curb onto a bike path on the east side of Cottonwood Park.
As he was going south on the path, he drove over a berm and was T-boned in the driver’s side by a police detective who was trying to intercept him. While the two men were still inside their cars, the suspect pointed a .45-caliber handgun at the detective, Williams said.
The suspect jumped out of the stolen car and ran north to a wooded area of Cottonwood Park. In the wooded area, officers heard a gunshot and sent out a call that that shots had been fired, Williams said.
Police haven’t determined whether the suspect fired the shot, Williams said.
All the police knew at the time, he said, is that “As we were pursuing him, somewhere along the line – we don’t know if he fell down or if he stumbled – but there was a shot fired, a shot discharged, and then the call went out over the air that we had shots fired.”
The officers surmised that the suspect was firing at them, Williams said.
As air units kept officers on the ground advised about the suspect’s whereabouts and actions, an investigative supervisor parked his car at a dead-end at 7202 E. Zimmerly, and walked along a trail to get the lower end of an embankment about 20 to 25 feet high, Williams said.
As the supervisor made his way to the lower part of the embankment, he was confronted by the suspect.
The supervisor saw the suspect holding a gun in his right hand, Williams said. The supervisor twice commanded the suspect to drop the gun, then ordered him to get on the ground, Williams said. The suspect turned toward the supervisor and pointed his gun at him. The supervisor fired multiple shots at the suspect, Williams said. The suspect ran up the embankment, and the supervisor fired more shots at him.
Williams said the supervisor continued to fire multiple shots even while the man was running away because the supervisor had seen residents coming out of their houses and was concerned about a possible hostage situation.
As the suspect ran along the top of the embankment, a patrol supervisor near a parked car on Zimmerly saw the suspect with the gun and ordered him to drop it and get on the ground, Williams said. When the suspect began to raise the gun, the supervisor fired several rounds, striking him.
Williams said the shots were fired because the supervisor considered the suspect a threat to officers and the community.
The suspect was taken to Wesley Medical Center and released Saturday afternoon. He declined to be interviewed by detectives, Williams said. He was booked into jail on one count of aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer using a deadly weapon, and one count of aggravated assault.
Williams said that because the events began with an armed carjacking, and because the suspect had tried to elude police, then had pointed a .45-caliber semiautomatic at officers “several different times,” police considered him a threat to officers and the community. “So when you look at all of those things that happened, the officers had to take the appropriate action to protect themselves, protect the community as a whole, and also be able to stop this suspect from being a threat to the community,” Williams said.
Both supervisors who fired shots at the suspect were alone when they confronted him, Williams said.
The KBI and Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office are investigating.
Williams said police hope to determine by the end of the week whether the man is connected to the other robberies in the area.