Wichita, KS — Two Witchita police officers are on paid administrative leave following the shooting death of an unarmed 23-year-old man.
Interim Chief Nelson Mosley, with the Wichita Police Department, said in a press conference Sunday that police were called to a disturbance around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Two officers responded and reportedly found two men inside of an SUV. Police asked both men to get out of the vehicle.
According to their report, the 44-year-old driver complied with the verbal commands of police, but the 23-year-old began a verbal argument. Police Lt. James Espinoza said the 23-year-old man engaged in a “verbal exchange” with the officers when he was outside the vehicle.
The argument led to the back of the police cruiser at which point they repeatedly yelled at the 23-year-old to place his hands on the vehicle, which he did not do according to the report.
“Officer A then fired his taser,” said Mosley at the press conference. Officers claim that the man did not respond to the taser. At this point Officer B claimed to “see the suspect reach towards his waistband,” so she fired 2 shots into the man’s abdomen.
“Upon officers arriving and meeting the man until the shots were fired was 3 minutes,” said Mosley.
When asked what the victim said that caused officer B to fire at him, the interim chief responded, “At this point we are still investigating who said what, and what exactly was said.”
According to police diagrams displayed during the press conference, the altercation between officers and the man never became physical.
Mosley confirmed that the man was unarmed when asked about any weapons being found during the press conference,“we have not located any weapons at this time.”
Following the shooting, the 23-year-old was taken to a Wichita hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.
Several agencies, including the Wichita Police Department, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Sedgwick County District Attorney are investigating.
Officer A has been with the department for 4 years and 9 months and officer B, 3 years 1 month. Both officers are on paid administrative leave.