Deaf Man Witnessed Being Shot by the Police



A deaf man was seen shot and killed by the police around 8:15 p.m. ET, outside his house in Oklahoma City, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The confrontation began after Oklahoma police received an earlier call notifying them of a hit and run in the area.

The victim’s name was Magdiel Sanchez, a 35-year-old man who lived in the house at 229 Southeast 57th Street. Sanchez was approached by police officers while standing outside on his front porch. At that time, he was seen holding a two-foot long metal pipe with a piece of leather attached to it; one end of the leather was shaped in a loop big enough to wrap around a persons wrist.

Sanchez’s neighbor, Jolie Guebara, informed the press that the deaf man would take walks at night, and would bring a pipe, as a safety precaution, to fend off any stray dogs in the neighborhood. The police, however, saw the situation as a hostile man who approached them with a weapon.

After not following the officers’ commands to “drop the weapon and get on the ground,” Sanchez proceeded to move toward them. Around this moment, witnesses nearby began shouting to the officers, “He can’t hear you,” but it was to late, and the police opened fire.

In addition to being deaf, neighbor Julio Rayos told The Oklahoman, at a news conference, Sanchez does not speak either. He communicates with hand movements.

Witnesses at the scene of the incident recall that one of the police officers deployed his Taser and gun simultaneously, both hit Sanchez. Neighbors who lived nearby reported hearing multiple gun shots when the police fired at the man. Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.

The hit and run that took place before this tragedy, involved Sanchez’s father. He was the driver of the vehicle who fled toward his son’s residence after crashing into a unidentified object. No one was reported to be injured from the accident and it was confirmed that his son was not inside the vehicle.

The day after Sanchez’s death, Police Captain Bo Mathews spoke at the news conference. In his statement to the public he said, “This case is a criminal case. It’s being investigated by our homicide unit.”

Sanchez was identified as having no apparent criminal record and was a part of the fifth officer-involved shooting that has taken place in Oklahoma City this year.

Written by Brielle R. Buford


News OK: Neighbor of man killed by police: ‘I believe they could have disarmed him without shooting’
NBC News: ‘He Can’t Hear You!’: Deaf Man Killed by OKC Police as Neighbors Scream
The Times-Picayune: Oklahoma City man killed by police was deaf, didn’t hear commands, captain says
LEO AFFAIRS: Deaf man fatally shot by police in Oklahoma after refusing orders, walking towards them with 2-foot pipe
ABC News: Captain: Oklahoma City man killed by police was deaf

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of emtavano’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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