Wichita's Police Chief addressed some concerns raised in the community after an officer involved fatal shooting on Friday, July 4.
Chief Norman Williams says there have been 2 incidents this year where officers have had seconds to deal with someone charging them with a knife, and made the decision to shoot after tasers were ineffective.
"When it comes to using deady force, that is probably one of the hardest decisions an officer has to make in their entire career."
Chief Williams says there are no non-lethal weapons that are 100 percent effective all of the time, including tasers.
He says there have also been the question of why the officers don't shoot in the arm or the leg. "That is something that you see on television. That is something you see in the movies. In reality, we train to stop the threat. We train our officers to shoot in the upper torso."
Chief Williams says the investigation is continuing. Two officers are currently on administrative leave, which is the protocol in this type of situation.
(Earlier story - Joe Cadotte)
Icarus Randolph, 26, was shot and killed by police at about 1:30 p.m. in southeast Wichita on Independence Day - after he went after an officer with a silver knife, said Wichita Police Deputy Chief Nelson Mosley.
The officer then shot Randolph at least three times in the chest, and the man was later pronounced dead at Wesley Medical Center, Mosley said.
Various family members and neighbors told police that Randolph was a U.S. Marine combat veteran of the Iraq War and had been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Other preliminary information suggests that Randolph’s violent behavior could have been triggered, or compounded by, firework blasts.
Mosley said fireworks could be a contributing factor, but those details have not been confirmed.
“I don’t have that information on whether they talked about fireworks at that point, but we were getting information on his status at that time, meaning he was out of control,” Mosley said.
Mosley said police are working to obtain Randolph’s military record, and the incident is under investigation by Wichita Police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Mosley gave this account of events:
At about 1:15 p.m., on July 4, Wichita police responded to a call for a suicidal individual in the 7800 block of East Clay.
Two officers were interviewing family members in a yard about Randolph, who was said to have been behaving erratically, Mosley said.
At about 1:30 p.m. Randolph came out of the house and “began walking quickly and aggressively” towards the officers, Mosley said.
“The officer believed that he was about to be assaulted and used less-than-lethal force by deploying his taser,” Mosley said. “The suspect didn’t stop and continued toward the officers. At that point the officer noticed a knife in the suspect’s hand and at that time the officer pulled his service weapon… under policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave and has been evaluated.”