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Police Officers Shoot Deaf Man Dead Despite Neighbours Warning.


Magdiel Sanchez, a 35-year-old deaf and mute man has been shot dead by police as his neighbours screamed ‘he can’t hear you’.
 
According to a report by Metro UK, the man was approached by officers who were investigating a hit-and-run near his home in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
 
Sanchez, who suffered a developmental disability and could only communicate with hand gestures, wasn’t obeying the officers’ commands.
 
In response, the two officers opened fire simultaneously – one with his gun, and the other with a Taser.
 
Sanchez, who had no criminal history, died at the scene.
 
At a news conference Capt Bo Mathews said witnesses were yelling ‘he can’t hear you’ before the officers opened fire on Sanchez, but they apparently didn’t hear them.
 
He said the officers felt threatened because Sanchez was holding a stick, which had a leather loop attached to the end to fit around his wrist.
 
‘In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that’d be the threat against you,’ Mathews said. ‘I don’t know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point.’
 
People arrive at the home of Magdiel Sanchez, the site of an officer involved shooting, in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Oklahoma City police officers who opened fire on a man who was approaching them holding a metal pipe didn’t hear witnesses yelling that the man was deaf, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Mathews said that he didn’t know how many shots were fired, but it was more than one. He added that although the force has sign-language trained officers, he wasn’t sure if that included Barnes or his colleague.

The officer who fired the gun, Sgt Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
 
When asked why Barnes used a gun instead of a Taser, Mathews replied that he didn’t know. Neither officer had a body camera.
 
It was actually Sanchez’s father who had hit something earlier and driven off, and his son Magdiel wasn’t in the car. It was an object that he hit, not a person.
 
Sanchez’s dad confirmed that his son was deaf.
 
Julio Rayos, a neighbour who saw the shooting, told The Oklahoman that Sanchez was developmentally disabled, couldn’t speak and was deaf.
 
‘He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements,’ Rayos said. ‘That’s how he communicates. I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on.’
 
Jolie Guebara, who lives two houses down from Sanchez, added that she heard five or six gunshots before she looked outside and saw the police.
 
‘[Sanchez] always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there are a lot of stray dogs,’ she said.
 
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