A man is recovering after he was shot by a Wichita police officer who responded to a 911 call by the man’s mother.
Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred said the officer fired three shots at the man after he appeared to point a gun at the officer. Police later determined the object was a pouch.
“This situation didn’t have to occur,” Allred said. “And what I mean by that is if he would have just listened to what we were asking him to do — he didn’t have a gun, but he acted like he did and he pointed it at the officer and the officer didn’t have any options.”
The officer, who has been with the department for seven months, is on paid administrative leave per policy in shootings.
The 26-year-old man was shot once in the abdomen and was taken to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said. He remains hospitalized in stable condition. He had not been interviewed by investigators as of Monday afternoon.
The shooting happened at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday in a field near 51st and Meridian. Police were originally called by the man’s mom, who reported to 911 that her son was causing a domestic disturbance.
The mother said her son was at a family member’s home in the 3100 block of West Keywest Court, but had been asked to leave. There was a no contact order between the son and his father. The mother believed the son may have been using methamphetamine and had jumped in the lake behind the house. She also told an emergency dispatcher that “he has a history of being violent, he could be combative with police.”
Responding officers found the man walking in the area. When they identified themselves and commanded him to stop and show his hands, he ran away and into a field. While running, he had a hand at his waist area. Police said he continued to ignore commands to show his hands, yelled obscenities at the officers and was “acting erratically.”
“After reaching the middle of a field, the suspect abruptly stopped and squared his shoulders to an officer in a shooting-type stance,” Allred said. “The suspect continued to appear agitated and was yelling at the officers when he made a prolonged grab at his waistband with his right hand. He drew an object believed to be a handgun. The suspect put his hands out to his sides briefly and then quickly extended both hands toward one officer with the object in his hand.”
The officer then fired three rounds, striking him once. He was taken into custody and officers performed first aid until an ambulance took him to a hospital.
The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal threat, Allred said and an aggravated assault charge may be added later. The investigation is ongoing, and the district attorney’s office will make a final determination on what, if any, charges are filed.
“This family, for what they’re going through with this son, they’re very cooperative and they’ve worked very hard to try to get him some help,” Allred said. “But unfortunately we all know that if the individual doesn’t want help themselves, it’s hard to get them help. Hopefully, this suspect will get some type of help in the near future.”