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WPD Chief responds to criticism over recent officer-involved shooting

By Anne Meyer, ameyer@kwch.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:52:21 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 07 2014 05:54:27 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams says his officers had seconds to decide what to do when a man confronted them with a knife Friday afternoon on East Clay. Icarus Randolph died after officers shot him several times.

Williams knows about the concerns from Randolph's family about why those officers killed the former marine, instead of shooting him in the arms or legs that day. But the Chief says that's not what officers are trained to do to stop a threat.

"We are talking accessing in seconds," Williams said. "We are not saying time-out, that you can go over and huddle up. We are talking about a situation that evolves quickly."

Williams says officers initially used a taser on Randolph, but the taser didn't stop him. That's when officers say Randolph came at them with a knife, so they shot him

"It appeared to be 4 to 5 inch blade, possibly a hunting knife or a combat knife," Williams added.

"Icarous was not no crazy person, not at all. He was not suicidal," said a protester Saturday.

Family and friends spoke out in protest Saturday, near the spot where Randolph was shot. They said the marine veteran was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and needed help that day, that's why his family called 911.

"There was a better way of handling this, rather than just taking a man's life," said another protester. "Especially a man that has served his country faithfully."

The group wants to see officers get more training to handle situations like last Friday, but Chief Williams says someone's mental state also has an impact on how police react.

"It creates a volatility of uncertainty because they are unstable, they are not open to logic to reason and we have to make those decisions," Williams said.

Williams also said Monday that according to what Randolph's mother told officers the day of the shooting, Randolph had tried to get help for his PTSD from the VA, but his application was not accepted.

The two officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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