OKC Police Shoot Deaf Man With Metal Pipe

Police in Oklahoma City  fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.

The shooting happened Tuesday night. It’s the fifth officer-involved shooting in the city this year, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident around 8:15 p.m., Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department’s public information officer, told reporters Wednesday. A witness of the accident told police a vehicle involved went to a nearby address.

Lt. Matthew Lindsey arrived at the address and encountered 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez, who was on the porch holding a 2-foot metal pipe with a leather loop in his right hand. Lindsey called for backup and Sgt. Christopher Barnes arrived.

Police ordered Sanchez to drop the weapon and get on the ground, Mathews said. Both officers had weapons drawn — Lindsey had a Taser and Barnes a gun. Sanchez came off the porch and was walking toward Barnes.

“The witnesses also were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf and could not hear. The officers didn’t know this at the time,” Mathews said.

Both officers fired their weapons at the same time when Sanchez was about 15 feet away from them; more than one shot was fired, the police captain said.

Sanchez had “no criminal history that I could locate,” Mathews said. The car involved in the hit-and-run was driven by Sanchez’s father and Magdiel Sanchez was not in the car at the time.

Police were not wearing body cameras at the time and both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine following officer involved shootings.

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3 Comments

  1. LegalBeagle

    His inability hear is not even arguably relevant. He was holding a weapon that was potentially lethal, had advanced to well within the distance at which he could make use of it before shots would be effective if he had moved faster, and when one is at gunpoint and Taser point the ability to see is all that matters. Hearing the specifics of the orders given is not important.

    • Law Officer

      Yes, Graham v. Connor (1989) calls is “using “hindsight” to judge an officer’s actions and that is prohibited. Although not prohibited from every media pundit and activist

      • LegalBeagle

        True, and even in hindsight, the use of force was objectively reasonable. Someone trying to beat you with a 2′ blunt instrument presents a lethal threat. As for the ignorant and apologists for the criminally feral, I’ll save you the deletion work and not comment on them.

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