Oklahoma City Police shot and killed a 35-year-old deaf man who was approaching them while holding a metal pipe on Tuesday night, according to CBS News. During a news conference on Wednesday, Oklahoma City police Captain Bo Matthews revealed that the victim, Magdiel Sanchez, was not obeying police instructions, which led them to fatally shoot and Taser the man. Matthews also admitted that witnesses were shouting, “He can’t hear you,” but the officers did not hear their warnings.
Officers appeared at the scene to investigate a hit-and-run on Tuesday night. A witness told one of the officers at the scene where the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run went, and when the police arrived at the address, Sanchez was on the porch holding a two-foot-long metal pipe with a leather loop on one end, fit for wrapping around a wrist. As officers called for backup, Sanchez began walking towards the officers.
Witnesses could hear the officers speaking to Sanchez and giving him commands, but the officers could not hear witnesses telling them that Sanchez was deaf. Two officers opened fire, one with a gun and one a with Taser when Sanchez was about 15 feet away.
Barnes said he did not know why he used a gun instead of a Taser. Neither officer had a body camera. The officer who fired the gun, Sgt. Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Sanchez’s father confirmed that Sanchez was not in the car and that he was the one driving the hit-and-run vehicle during the accident, but that he did not hit a person. A neighbor told the Associated Press that Sanchez would often carry around a large stick during night walks to ward off stray dogs.
According to CBS News, police initially claimed that Sanchez was holding a stick when they arrived on the scene, but Matthews said on Wednesday that Sanchez was holding a metal pipe.