Defendant testifies in officer-involved shooting case

07/30/2013 2:29 PM

08/08/2014 10:18 AM

A Wichita man charged with pointing a gun at police officer while trying to flee the scene of a home-invasion robbery told a Sedgwick County jury Tuesday that he never aimed a gun at the officer who shot him.

Reginald Vaughn, 21, testifying on the sixth day of his trial, said that he and a friend had just walked out the back door of a house at 1201 W. Crawford when police opened fire without provocation.

"He stepped out. I stepped out. Then boom. Everything goes crazy," Vaughn said.

"How many steps did you take after got shot before you fell down?" prosecutor C.J. Rieg asked.

"None," Vaughn replied.

The exchange came during the second week of Vaughn’s trial on 11 felony charges including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and seven counts of kidnapping. Police said he was with a group of four men who held seven people at gunpoint during the robbery on April 13, 2012.

Police said three of the suspects, two of them armed with handguns, ran out the back door as police surrounded the house. Police said one officer fired three shotgun blasts at the suspects after one of them pointed a gun at him. Another officer fired seven shots from a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, police said. One of the shots from the handgun struck Timothy Collins, 17, in the head and killed him.

Vaughn was wounded by one of the shotgun blasts.

Vaughn told the jury that he and his friends went to the house to buy marijuana, and were in the kitchen when Collins and one of the residents of the house began fighting about money. Vaughn said he started to intervene in the fight when someone said that police were at the house. Vaughn said he left through the back door

"We didn’t walk slow, but we weren’t running," he said.

Rieg has argued throughout the trial that Vaughn was shot in the right armpit after raising his handgun and pointing it Officer Shannon Dunkel, who then opened fire with a shotgun.

"Isn’t it true that you were shot under the arm when you raised your revolver and pointed it at Officer Dunkel?" Rieg asked.

"No, ma’am," Vaughn replied.

"Isn’t it true that when you got shot under the arm, the gun you were carrying went flying and landed in the grass?"

"No, ma’am," Vaughn said.

Some of the most damaging evidence against Vaughn came in the form of statements he made at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, where he was treated before being booked into jail.

He told a police officer, "The guy who shot me shot me right because it made me drop the gun,"

Vaughn said he was sedated in the hospital and didn’t recall making any statements.

"I don’t remember anything in the hospital," he said.

The case is expected to go to the jury Tuesday afternoon.

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