Crime & Courts

Police: Man had refused commands

The man fired on by a Wichita police officer Tuesday night refused commands to pull his hands out of his pockets and halt his charge toward the officer, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer fired once at the 23-year-old suspect in the backyard of a residence in the 2300 block of North Poplar following a vehicle chase that began on North Hydraulic, Lt. Ken Landwehr said.

Officers responded to a report of a disturbance with a weapon shortly after 8 p.m. in the 1600 block of North Hydraulic, he said. As the officers arrived, a dark SUV sped away from the location.

A chase ensued, extending through northeast Wichita until the SUV jumped a curb and struck a tree at 24th and Hillside.

At least three men fled from the SUV — one to the southwest toward Derrick Street, Landwehr said. The officer ran after him. As other officers closed in on the area, the suspect doubled back and ran toward the officer, his hands in his pockets.

The officer fired when the suspect was about 20 feet away, Landwehr said.

The suspect surrendered quickly after the shot was fired, Landwehr said. The bullet struck a fence post in the backyard of the residence.

A second man who ran from the SUV also was arrested, and Landwehr said police are looking for as many as three other men in connection with the incident.

A handgun was thrown from the SUV during the chase, and police recovered it near 19th and Shadybrook.

All of the suspects are documented gang members, Landwehr said, but the incident does not appear to be gang-related.

Tuesday night's incident mushroomed from an ongoing conflict involving two couples, Landwehr said.

A clash on Monday in the 2100 block of South Kansas was not reported to police, Landwehr said. Six shots were fired at about 5 p.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of North Poplar. That incident was not reported, either.

About three hours after the shots were fired on North Poplar, a 38-year-old woman called police to report that her brother had come to her house in the 1600 block of North Hydraulic with a gun.

Officers responded to the scene and the chase began.

The officer who fired the shot has been with the department for seven years, Landwehr said.