A police officer in Oklahoma reportedly shot a man in front of his home, ignoring pleas from his neighbor that he was deaf and was unable to hear the commands.
Madgiel Sanchez, 35, was reportedly holding a metal pipe and authorities kept on asking him to drop the tool before opening fire on him.
According to police, they were there to investigate a hit-and-run accident after receiving a 911 call. Sanchez was holding a 2-foot-long pipe that he didn’t drop despite several repeated commands. He began coming towards the officers holding the pipe in his right hand.
As the cops’ shouting grew louder, Sanchez’s neighbors came out to find out what the matter was. As they saw the officers, they tried to explain the man was deaf and could not hear the commands.
Julio Rayos, the man’s neighbor, said he ran toward the officer with his wife and 12-year-old daughter.
“Don’t kill him, he’s deaf,” his daughter yelled. “Don’t do it!”
Rayos recalled the terrifying incident and said several other neighbors joined in to explain Sanchez’s condition. However, in less than a minute, another cop arrived and instantly pulled out his gun and fired shots at the deaf man while the first officer fired his Taser.
“They seemed like they just came to shoot him. It happened so quickly,” said Rayos.
Sanchez was pronounced dead in front of his house.
The neighbor further said that Sanchez always carried a pipe with to scare stray dogs. The pipe also helped to communicate with others and get his message across.
“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,” added Rayos.
“In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you. I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point,” said police Capt. Bo Mathews.
He added the shooting was under investigation and the first officer would remain on active duty while the second officer was placed on administrative leave.
Police further said Sanchez had no criminal history and the accident the cops were investigating involved a truck that Sanchez’s father was driving and he had nothing to do with the hit-and-run accident.
Thumbnail Credits : Reuters, Max Whittaker