Oklahoma City Police Fatally Shoot Deaf Latino Man

By Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) (uploaded by Chamber employee Lillie-Beth Brinkman lbrinkman@okcchamber.com), via Wikimedia Commons

A man was fatally shot by Oklahoma City Police this Tuesday night after failing to follow commands from police. Witnesses at the scene alerted the officers that the man was deaf and could not hear their orders to drop the pipe he was holding.

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Madgiel Sanchez, 35, was shot on his front porch, in front of neighbors, after officers came to investigate a hit-and-run accident. According to witnesses, Sanchez was ordered to drop a two-foot-long pipe he was waving at authorities when they arrived at the scene. There were two officers to approach Sanchez, the first one had a Taser, but when his commands did not register with the 35-year-old, a second one came for backup with a handgun. 

According to The New York Times, over six of the victims' neighbors jumped into alert the officer that Sanchez could not hear their commands. Despite their frantic pleas, the first officer fired his Taser while the other officer released his first shot. After being hit by multiple shots, Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Julio Rayos was a neighbor of the victim and told The New York Times that "he saw the confrontation unfold and sensed trouble." He, along with his daughter and his wife, all screamed at police that Sanchez was deaf, but says "They seemed like they just came to shoot him. It happened so quickly.” 

Many people are taking to twitter using the hashtag #MagdielSanchez to respond to the unfortunate incident...

The incident is not the first to raise a conversation about the tribulations of police misconduct. 

In addition to the present tensions between minority groups and law enforcement. 


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Capt. Bo Mathews, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department,  said that they are not sure why both officers pulled out two different weapons; "I don’t know what the officers were thinking. They very well could not have heard everyone yelling around them.”

Rayos says that Sanchez was known for walking around their community with the pipe, that he sometimes used to repel stray dogs.