Wichita City Council members approved without comment Tuesday the largest cash settlement with residents whose apartments were damaged during the police standoff in south Wichita in late July.
Council members voted 5-0, with council members James Clendenin and Janet Miller absent, to approve a $25,500 settlement with Southlake Village Apartments resident Justin Zoucher. The vote was part of the council’s end-of-the-month consent agenda at a brief meeting Tuesday.
Zoucher was a resident in the apartment complex when Jared Woosypiti, 24, locked himself in a nearby apartment, beginning a 32-hour standoff with Wichita police. Officers fired tear gas, detonated explosives and shot water into the apartments. The standoff ended July 11 when Woosypiti was killed by gunfire.
Mayor Carl Brewer reiterated the city’s commitment to “make the people affected by this whole.” He downplayed the two months taken to deliver the settlements as “part of the process.”
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“This was a very unusual circumstance with a lot of different agencies involved,” Brewer said. “I think that after discussion on the council, this is the right thing to do.”
It’s one of eight settlements the city has approved with Southlake residents, totaling $60,466. Twelve claims were filed seeking $113,992.
On Sept. 10, the council approved a $20,000 settlement with Alyssa Cooper and Derrick Jochum, whose apartment and contents were heavily damaged during the standoff.
Six other settlements were approved without council action by City Manager Robert Layton and City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf. Layton can approve settlements up to $10,000 and the city attorney up to $5,000, by statute.
The four pending claims are for a total of $1,797, Rebenstorf said.