WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) — Police have released new details after a 30-year-old Wichita man was killed in an officer-involved shooting early Thursday morning.
It began just before 2:30 a.m. when an officer pulled up to a stop sign at 13th Street and Gow. Across the intersection was a car with its left turn signal on. Police Chief Norman Williams said the officer was also turning left and yielded to the other driver. But instead of making the turn, the driver flashed the officer with flashlight, Williams said.
The officer got out of his vehicle and made his way to see if the driver was OK. The driver then asked the officer for his name and badge number. Williams said that when the officer asked the driver his name, he took off at a high rate of speed.
Wichita police and Sedgwick County deputies pursued the car, reaching speeds up to 75 miles-per-hour. Stop sticks were deployed near McLean and Meridian, but the suspect was able to avoid them, Chief Williams said. He continued southbound on Meridian to Maple, where officers again deployed stop sticks. This time, they flattened one of the suspect’s tires. He turned from Maple onto Mt. Carmel and stopped abruptly.
Within seconds, Williams said, the suspect got out of his car, pulled a folding knife from his jacket, opened it and started toward a Wichita police officer, who was in the process of parking and exiting his vehicle.
A sheriff’s deputy then used his Taser on the man, but he was not affected. Williams said the suspect then began approaching a second deputy, who also fired a Taser. Again, the suspect was hit but unaffected. That’s when the Wichita police officer fired several rounds.
Once the suspect was down and handcuffed, officers found a second knife on him as well as a 16-inch sword and other knives in his car.
The suspect, identified as David M. Zehring, was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Williams said the officer who fired at Zehring is a three-year veteran of the Wichita Police Department and is now on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
Zehring was reportedly arrested for DUI in 2004 and for drug paraphernalia in 2006. He was also charged with a misdemeanor relating to a police chase in 2012.
Sheriff Jeff Easter said that after responding to a disturbance between family members in 2013, law enforcement in a neighboring county confiscated 53 weapons--including handguns, rifles and shotguns--from Zehring.
A police chase in west Wichita led to an officer-involved shooting in which a suspect was killed.
Officers closed part of West Maple for several hours after the 2:30 a.m. shooting at Mount Carmel. People living in that neighborhood tell KAKE News they heard at least six shots.
Police say the shooting followed a chase which began at 13th and St. Paul. At the end of the chase, the suspect reportedly climbed out of his Chevrolet sedan, then a "confrontation" occurred. The suspect reportedly was armed.
No details were available Thursday morning, but police are expected to release more information during a briefing at 3 p.m.
Officers used the situation to try out new 3-D crime mapping technology. The area was evacuated and crime scene tape was taken down, then a laser was used to trace the evidence at the scene.