Officers allegedly shot and killed a deaf man, despite neighbors begging them not to fire, as reported by KFOR.
Oklahoma City Police Captain Bo Mathews says that Magdiel Sanchez, 35, ignored officers’ orders and advanced toward them while holding a metal pipe before one officer Tasered him and the other shot him Tuesday night, according to Chicago Tribune. Sanchez is said to have died at the scene.
“In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that’d be the threat against you,” Captain Mathews said during a news conference.
Officers arrived at the Oklahoma City home following reports of a hit-and-run involving Sanchez’ father.
Officials announced that Sanchez wasn’t involved in the accident and had no criminal history, according to NBC News.
Captain Matthews said arriving officer Lieutenant Matthew Lindsey called for backup after spotting Sanchez on the porch wielding a 2-foot long pipe “wrapped in some type of material” and with a small leather loop on the end.
Neighbor Julio Rayos told The Oklahoman that Sanchez was also developmentally disabled and nonverbal.
“The guy does movements,” Rayos said. “He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements. That’s how he communicates. I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on.”
Rayos claims he and other residents were “screaming that he can’t hear” before officers shot and killed Sanchez.
Seargent Chris Barnes, the officer who fired the fatal shot, has been placed on administrative leave.
Captain Matthews says that he doesn’t know why responding officers ignored neighbors’ warnings that Sanchez was deaf.
“I don’t know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point because I was not there,” he said. “But they very well could not have heard, you know, everybody yelling, everybody yelling around them.”
[Featured Image: KFOR]