Oklahoma police shoot, kill deaf man holding metal pole

By Ray Downs  |  Sept. 20, 2017 at 10:47 PM
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Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City police shot dead a deaf man who held a metal pole in his front yard and allegedly approached them, officials said Wednesday.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was shot after police said he was warned to stop advancing toward the officers.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews said neighbors shouted to police that Sanchez was deaf, but that the officers did not hear the warnings before firing.

"We were screaming that he can't hear," neighbor Julio Rayos said.

One officer fired a stun gun at Sanchez at the same time the other opened fire, police said. Sanchez was declared dead moments later.

During a press conference, Mathews said the deaf man was approximately 15 feet from the officers when he was shot. Neither officer wore a body camera.

Mathews said the pole Sanchez held was about two feet long with a leather loop at one end, possibly designed to go around a wrist. He added that Sanchez did not strike the officers, and did not have a prior criminal history.

Police said they arrived to Sanchez's house to investigate a hit and run car accident involving Sanchez's father, who initially called police and told them his son had hit his vehicle.

The officer who shot Sanchez, Sgt. Christopher Barnes, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

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