An officer from the Wichita Police Department is facing a review by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office and their own department after opening fire at a dog in a home and missing, injuring a child home at the time.
Wichita Police were summoned to the home on Saturday for a call about a suicidal and possibly violent person who’d allegedly choked a dog before placing a gun in his mouth. Responding officers were able to locate the 33-year-old man who prompted the call, who they say was “cooperative” and was compelled to undergo a mental health examination.
Police say the dog charged officers as they searched for the gun used by the man, which was located under a pillow on a bed in the home.
The round fragmented and ricocheted, according to the Wichita Eagle, with at least one shard of the round hitting a 9-year-old girl in the face just above her right eye. The victim — one of three children at home at the time of the shooting — was hospitalized and released hours later.
Charlie O’Hara, a lawyer for the family, disputes police claims that just one bullet fragment hit the child. He says three bullet fragments were removed from the girl, according to KWCH.
The officer who discharged his service weapon remains unnamed at this time. Per police protocol, they will remain on administrative leave until investigations into the worthiness of the firearm use are complete.
The accidental shooting only heaps new scrutiny on law enforcement in Wichita. The incident comes just days after a Wichita Police SWAT team shot and killed a man standing in his doorway — an apparent victim of a “prank” known as “swatting,” in which someone calls in a threat that would elicit a response from a SWAT team, like an active shooter — to a law enforcement agency.
A Wichita Police SWAT team responded to the home of Andrew Finch, believing they’d been summoned to end a hostage situation. Finding Finch and believing him to be armed, they shot and killed him as he stood in his doorway.