Kansas man killed after pointing toy gun at sheriff’s deputy
A man shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy had first pointed an airsoft gun at the law enforcement officer, officials said.
The 55-year-old man was killed in the deputy-involved shooting in south Wichita on Monday, a Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. The fatal shooting was reported at around 1 p.m. at 3360 S. Hydraulic, near I-135, a dispatch supervisor said.
No deputies were injured, spokesman Lt. Tim Myers said.
Two deputies went to a storage unit facility after they received a tip that a 55-year-old man with a felony warrant for his arrest would be there, sheriff’s Col. Greg Pollock said. The man started running and did not comply with commands to stop, Pollock said, and pointed at the deputy with what the deputy thought was a pistol.
“Fearing for his life and the life of the other deputy, the deputy fired several rounds, striking the suspect,” Pollock said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. After the shooting, investigators found an airsoft pistol next to the suspect, Pollock said. The warrant for his arrest was related to suspected drug crimes. An autopsy will be performed at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center.
“As a member of the sheriff’s office, I want to offer my condolences to the family of the deceased man,” Myers said.
There is no body camera footage of the officer-involved shooting, Pollock said. While the sheriff’s office is in the process of issuing new body cameras to deputies, the deputies involved in the shooting were part of a unit that does not yet have cameras.
“The sheriff’s office just recently switched over to body cams this year, and our full deployment has not occurred yet,” Pollock said.
When deputies arrived at the scene at around 12:53 p.m., they saw the man standing at the rear of a maroon Ford Fusion parked in front of a storage unit. He ignored the commands of deputies as he ran to the driver’s seat of the car, where investigators think he retrieved the airsoft gun, Pollock said.
The airsoft gun “has the appearance of a realistic weapon” and as has no distinguishing marks to indicate it is a toy, Pollock said. Less than 30 seconds passed from when deputies arrived on scene to when shots were fired.
The deputy who fired the shots is on administrative leave, per department policy, Pollock said. He is 40 years old and has been with the sheriff’s office for 18 years.
The second deputy did not fire any shots. The toy gun was not pointed at him, but he did witness some of the events that occurred, Pollock said. He is 50 years old and has been with the sheriff’s office for 20 years.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the investigation, and the criminal case will be presented to the district attorney’s office. There will also be an internal investigation.