- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - No charges will be filed over the shooting death of a man accused of lunging at a Wichita police officer with a knife, authorities say.

In announcing the decision Friday, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett also released his full report into the July 4 shooting of Icarus Randolph, saying he was seeking to introduce more transparency to his office.

“The conclusion in this case is that the police officer was placed in a situation where he objectively and reasonably felt he needed to defend himself against the advance of someone who was not responding to calls . either from the officer or from family,” Bennett said.

The report said relatives became concerned because Randolph, a veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, wasn’t interacting with them. Family members said they called mental health associations for help and were advised to call 911. The family wanted Randolph to be taken to a local mental health treatment center.

While two responding officers were talking with family members outside, a loud noise came from the house. Family members inside the house said Randolph threw a chair before kicking out the screen door. He then walked toward an officer standing in the yard.

Family members yelled “No!” and “Stop!” to Randolph, and the officers also told him to halt. A family member told police Randolph “wasn’t hearing me,” and that he “just wasn’t there.”

The officer began backpedaling and fired his stun gun, which “momentarily” stopped the advance “for about a half-second,” he later told investigators.

The officer standing in the street noticed Randolph was carrying a knife in his right hand, and yelled “knife,” at which point the other officer drew his service weapon and fired four shots into Randolph’s chest. The officer who fired said he was running out of room to back up, as there was a parked car immediately behind him.

Djuan Wash, director of communications at Sunflower Community Action, said the local activist group was “disappointed.” He said the officer should have de-escalated the situation, distanced himself from it, and gotten Randolph to a mental health facility.

Bennett said his role is “to assess what was, in fact, done without trying to add a lot of commentary about what I wish would have happened here.”


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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