A 29-year-old man who was heard threatening people with a knife in a 911 call placed by his mother was shot and wounded by veteran police officer in Hutchinson, Kansas as the suspect advanced on him with a knife.
Chief Dick Heitschmidt tells Eyewitness News Sgt. Josh Radloff responded to the call of an armed person at 4:14 p.m. It was noted that the person was heard making threats in the background of the call.
Thirty seconds after arriving on the scene, Sgt. Radloff reported shots fired.
The chief says when Radloff confronted by 29-year-old Justin Matthews, who was armed. Radloff then shot Matthews in the shoulder.
The shooting took place in the 300 block of E. 10th, at Matthews’ mother’s home. Police have since confirmed it was Matthews’ mother who placed the initial phone call to 911.
Matthews is currently listed in stable condition at a Wichita hospital.
Matthews came down the steps of his mother’s home and stopped briefly, the front end of a car being the only thing between him and the officer. The officer pointed his gun at Matthews from what appears to be roughly just 5 yards away and told him to drop the knife several times, and then fired several shots as Matthews appears to be posturing to charge. Matthews then goes down with a shot in the shoulder.
At least one person in the comments of the article seems to be under the impression that Sgt. Radloff aimed at the suspect’s shoulder, “shooting to wound.”
I assure you that nothing is further from the truth.
Officers are taught to aim at the center of exposed mass. If Sgt. Radloff defaulted to his training, he aimed in the middle of the suspect’s chest, and the shot that hit Matthews in the shoulder—along with the shot or shots that missed—are the result of the shots being aimed at the middle of his chest being errant to some degree due to the stresses of close range combat.
Officers and competently-trained citizens are not taught to shoot to wound.
They are not taught to shoot to kill.
They are taught to shoot to stop the threat.
This shooting is in many ways very similar to the officer-involved shooting of Kajieme Powell, who was shot and killed in St. Louis under similar circumstances in August as he came at officers with a knife.