Reno County DA: Police justified in shooting Wichita man

Four law enforcement officers were justified in using deadly force last month against a Wichita man who hijacked a car in Wichita before leading police on a chase that ended near Yoder, Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder said in a news release today.

Darren James Baker, 53, was shot on Feb. 6 after he made a gesture that appeared to the officers that he was drawing a firearm, Schroeder said. Investigators later determined that an object found under Baker’s body was a flip-style telephone that belonged to the owner of the car that was hijacked.

Baker had a history of drug abuse and had recently displayed suicidal tendencies, Schroeder said. Shortly before he was killed, Schroeder said, a family member took a shotgun away from Baker after he pointed it at his chin in a suicidal gesture.

The officers involved in the shooting were from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and the Goddard, Andale and Mount Hope police departments.