Police chief made decision to end Wichita standoff
Published on -7/15/2013, 5:08 PM
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The suspect killed in a 32-hour standoff with police at a Wichita apartment complex last week had been taking drugs and making bombs, police said Monday.
Wichita police chief Norman Wiilliams said Jared Lee Woosypiti, 24, had been wanted for attempted first-degree murder in a July 4 stabbing of a woman in Derby.
The standoff began Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Woosypiti fired multiple rounds inside a Wichita Kmart while trying to rob the pharmacy.
A citizen was able to get a partial license plate number as he fled the scene, which helped police find the stolen vehicle at the Southlake Village apartments, where a woman Woosypiti had been dating lived. She was able to get out safely and told police about his drug consumption.
The suspect had threatened that if police came into the apartment the building would go up "like the Fourth of July," Williams said. The U.S. Marshalls office also informed Wichita police that Woosypiti had been making bombs and putting nails in them, he said, and family members had told authorities that he'd talked in the past about "suicide by cop."
Williams said Monday that the decision to shoot Woosypiti was made about 10 p.m. Thursday evening -- based on a combination of the warrant for attempted first-degree murder, the gunfire at Kmart and the apartment, refusing to comply with police orders, the bomb threat and officers' fatigue.
"When you look at all these things, the decision was made by me to go ahead and take him out," Williams said.
Williams said that until the investigation is complete he couldn't say who took the shot.
"We were hesitant to remove him because we were worried about the possibility of booby traps," he said.
The Reno County sheriff's office is leading an ongoing investigation into the incident at the request of Wichita authorities.
More than 10 law enforcement agencies and more than 100 law enforcement officers were involved in the incident, said Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson.
"I will not jeopardize the integrity of this case by rushing," Henderson said.
Williams said Woosypiti fired at officers five different times on Wednesday night. Later, police used water pressure cannons to knock down sheet rock to see inside the apartments and get tear gas inside.
By early Thursday morning, Woosypiti said he was coming out, but didn't, instead breaking through the wall into a neighboring apartment. As the standoff dragged into Thursday evening, a police dog and officers were sent into the apartment. When Woosypiti began firing at them, officers returned fire to provide cover, so the dog and officers could withdraw.
Shortly thereafter, Williams said he gave the order to take the shot and "end this threat to our community."