Former Wichita police officer charged in shooting that injured child

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — A former Wichita police officer who injured a nine-year-old girl while trying to shoot a dog has been charged with felony aggravated battery.

Police say officers were called to a home in the 1500 block North Gentry on December 30, 2017 on report of a domestic dispute and a suicidal person with a gun.

Police said while they were retrieving the gun, a mid-sized mixed-breed dog charged at one of officers who then fired his weapon. The round struck a hard surface and broke into fragments. A piece of a fragment ricocheted and struck the nine-year-old girl.

Dexter Betts, the officer who fired the shot, left the Wichita Police Department in late January.

13 NEWS’ sister-station KWCH talked to Attorney Charley O'Hara, who represents the girl's family.

"I think it's an appropriate charge. Our community should be proud of Mr. Bennett. He didn't give in to the pressures put upon him. He did the right thing under the circumstances," O’Hara said following the announcement of charges.

Prior to the announcement, O’Hara said he has seen body cam video and says the late-December shooting incident appears worse than he thought.

O'Hara says the girl was on the floor and only about 10 feet from the officer who fired the shot. He says, on the video, it appears the girl was directly in line with the officer's shot, that the officer's flashlight on his gun illuminated her face before the shot was fired.

The bullet struck the floor right in front of the girl, where it broke into fragments.

Earlier this month, the girl’s family told KWCH they wanted the public to see the video. So far, it has not been released.

O'Hara says the felony charge was filed against Betts March 20. He is due back in court April 11.