We are learning about the moments that led to a deadly officer involved shooting on the southeast side of the metro. Oklahoma City's Chief of Police responded to questions Thursday about the fatal shooting of a deaf man.
The officer who used his taser on Magdiel Sanchez, 35, has been interviewed by homicide detectives. The officer who used deadly force has not been interviewed. Chief Bill Citty said that happen sometime next week with his attorney present.
‘This is something that is tragic,” said Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma City Police Department. “Either way, anyway around it, it’s tragic.”
Chief Citty offered his condolences to Sanchez’s family. Sanchez was fatally shot Tuesday night in his front yard. The officer accused of the shooting is Sergeant Christopher Barnes. He is now on administrative leave pending an investigation. Chief Citty addressed the controversy surrounding the officer's use of deadly force against a deaf man, despite witnesses warning the officer Sanchez was deaf.
“I want the community to trust the department,” said Chief Citty. “And that we are doing everything we should be doing in investigating this.”
He said Sanchez approached the officers with a weapon, something witnesses described as a stick Sanchez carried anytime he left his home.
“These situations are dynamic,” said Chief Citty. “It’s emotional. In this case, you have a father police are looking for and a son for whatever reason confronted the officers with a weapon.”
Chief Citty wants the public to know he has started a dialogue with the local deaf community about interactions with the deaf and hard of hearing. Currently, the department offers four hours of training for these situations. Officers are also trained in de-escalation tactics.
“We’re doing a lot of training in different situations,” said Chief Citty. “In trying to slow things down, but again in certain circumstances and this may be one of them, you don’t have the opportunity to slow things down.”
Chief Citty said the two officers under investigation do not have body-worn cameras. He said 200 more officers will be outfitted with cameras in October.
After the department’s homicide investigation is complete it will go to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office for review.