An Oklahoma City police officer shot and killed a 35-year-old man named Magdiel Sanchez for allegedly not putting down a pipe when he was instructed to do so. Sanchez, who is deaf, reportedly didn’t put down the pipe because he didn’t hear what the officers were saying.
Officer-Involved shooting at SE 56th/Stiles. One suspect shot, all officers are okay. Please avoid the area. More details to come.
— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) September 20, 2017
In a press conference yesterday morning, Captain Bo Mathews said Oklahoma City Police were working a hit-and-run accident and one of the cars involved was a green truck. The driver of the green truck left the scene and witnesses told police “where the suspect vehicle could be located.” Once they arrived at the location, Lieutenant Matthew Lindsey confronted Sanchez, who was on the porch.
Sanchez allegedly walked over to the officers with a pipe in his right hand. “Lt. Lindsay requested dispatch hold the air and provide back up,” Mathews said. Then Sgt. Christopher Barnes arrived at the scene. The officer said that Sanchez’s pipe was a “2-foot-long metal pipe” and that it was “wrapped in some type of material with a small leather loop on the end of it.”
“Both officers gave verbal commands for the suspect to drop the weapon,” Mathews said during the press conference. But Sanchez allegedly did not stop and continued to walk toward the officers. That is when Lindsey deployed his taser at Sanchez. But that was not the end of it. Barnes then fired at Sanchez at the same time.
“The suspect was hit and medical attention was provided,” Mathews said. “EMSA arrived and pronounced the suspect deceased at the scene.”
— Emily Collins (@EmilyTVNews) September 20, 2017
Mathews also said that witnesses yelled at the officers on the scene, telling them that Sanchez couldn’t hear them.
“The witnesses were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf, and could not hear,” Mathews said. “The officers did not know this at the time.”
According to The New York Times, about six neighbors all yelled at police officers to not shoot him because Sanchez was deaf.
One of the neighbors, Julio Rayos, told the New York Times that the officer shot Sanchez six times. “They seemed like they just came to shoot him. It happened so quickly.”
Apparently, the suspect was Sanchez’s father. Mathews added that he didn’t know if Sanchez’s father was involved in the crash that launched the investigation in the first place. Mathews noted that the car in question hadn’t struck anyone.
Rayos also told the Times that Sanchez’s dad was sitting in his truck, which was parked in the driveway, and witnessed the entire confrontation with the police officers.
Officer Barnes has been put on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.