Shot by police: Magdiel Sanchez, 35, a hearing-impaired man from Oklahoma City, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation
Oklahoma City police officers shot to death a man who was approaching them holding a metal pipe Tuesday night after they failed to hear witnesses yelling at them that the suspect was deaf.
Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was not obeying the officers’ commands before one shot him with a gun and the other with a Taser, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference Wednesday.
He said witnesses were yelling ‘he can’t hear you’ before the officers opened fire, but they didn’t hear them.
Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer who fired the gun, Sgt. Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Mathews said the officers were investigating a reported hit-and-run accident at around 8.15pm Tuesday.
He said a witness gave Lt. Matthew Lindsey the address where the vehicle responsible for the hit-and-run had gone, and that Sanchez was on the porch when Lindsey responded to the scene.
Police were investigating a hit-and-run Tuesday night when they say they were confronted by Sanchez holding a metal pipe
Neighbors yelled at cops Sanchez, being deaf, could not hear their commands to drop the pipe, but the officers allegedly did not hear them
He said Sanchez was holding a metal pipe that was approximately two feet long and that had a leather loop on one end for wrapping around one’s wrist.
Lindsey called for backup and Barnes arrived, at which point Sanchez left the porch and began to approach the officers, Mathews said.
Witnesses could hear the officers ordering Sanchez to drop the pipe and get on the ground, according to a KFOR report, but the officers didn’t hear the witnesses yelling that Sanchez couldn’t hear them, Mathews said.
When he was about 15 feet away from the officers, they opened fire – Lindsey with his Taser and Barnes with his gun.
When asked why Barnes used a gun instead of a Taser, Mathews said he didn’t know. He said it’s possible Barnes wasn’t equipped with a Taser. Neither officer had a body camera.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews holds a news conference in Oklahoma City Wednesday about the officer-involved shooting
People arrive at the home of Magdiel Sanchez, who was allegedly developmentally disabled and non-verbal
Mathews said that more than one round was fired at Sanchez.
Sanchez’s father, who was driving the hit-and-run vehicle, confirmed after the shooting that his son was deaf, Mathews said.
He said Sanchez wasn’t in the vehicle when his father ran over something and drove off. It wasn’t a person that he struck.
Neighbor Jolie Guebara told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Sanchez, whose name she didn’t know, used notes to communicate with her and her husband. She said he often carried a stick to ward off stray dogs when he walked at night.
Police initially said Sanchez was carrying a stick, but Mathews described it Wednesday as a metal pipe.
Julio Rayos, who was among the neighbors screaming at officers that Sanchez could not hear their commands, told Tulsa World the victim had development disabilities and was non-verbal.
A neighbor who was an eyewitness to the shooting answers questions Wednesday