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Oklahoma City Police Shoot Deaf Man

Oklahoma City Police Shoot Deaf Man

People arrive at the home of Magdiel Sanchez, the site of an officer involved shooting, in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By    |   Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:49 PM

An Oklahoma City Police officer shot and killed a deaf man while investigating a hit-and-run accident Tuesday night.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, who was carrying a two-foot metal pipe, was shot and killed by Sgt. Christopher Barnes, KOKH-TV reported. Authorities said Lt. Matthew Lindsey arrived at a residence where a vehicle suspected to be involved in the traffic accident was located.

Sanchez reportedly was sitting on the porch of the home and approached the officer with the pipe in his hand, police said, according to KOKH-TV. Barnes arrived a short time later and both gave commands to Sanchez to drop the weapon, the television station said.

"The witnesses also were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf and could not hear," Oklahoma City Police public information officer Capt. Bo Mathews, said, according to National Public Radio. "The officers didn't know this at the time."

When Sanchez allegedly approached both officers, Lindsey fired his Taser while Barnes shot him using his firearm, police said, per the television station. Barnes was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, KOKH-TV stated.

Julio Rayos, a witness of the shooting and a neighbor, told The Oklahoman that people were yelling at police in an attempt to tell them that Sanchez could not hear them because he was deaf.

"We were screaming that he can't hear," Rayos told the newspaper. "The guy does movements. 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."

NPR wrote that Emergency Medical Services Authority personnel pronounced Sanchez dead at the scene.

"In those situations, very volatile situations, when you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you," Mathews said in a news conference, per NPR.

"I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point, because I was not there. But they very well could not have heard, you know, everybody yelling, everybody yelling around them," Mathews added.

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An Oklahoma City Police officer shot and killed a deaf man while investigating a hit-and-run accident Tuesday night.
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Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:49 PM
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