Police identify man killed in standoff

Steve Boyer
May 24, 2019 - 2:01 pm

The Wichita Police Department has identified the suspect in Thursday’s officer involved shooting as 56-year-old Fred Burton of Wichita.

At approximately 1:55 a.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a report of an explosion at the apartment complex in the 700 block of west MacArthur.  Upon arrival, officers observed gunshot holes in the wall of an apartment and heard additional gunshots.

The officers began immediately evacuating the apartments around the source of gunfire and notified other officers of the situation.  The WPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and SWAT negotiator team was activated to assist in the investigation.

 The SWAT team assisted in evacuating the remaining residences in the affected complex building and the negotiator team attempted multiple times to communicate with Burton.  The communication attempts were unsuccessful. 

 During the four-hour standoff, officers continued to receive gunfire from Burton that struck area complex buildings and two WPD SWAT armored vehicles.  Officers learned Burton was in a mental health crisis and had multiple previous contacts with Burton around mental health issues. 

At approximately 5:55 a.m., Burton pointed a rifle at officers and fired more shots towards them.  Two WPD SWAT officers returned fire with multiple shots and struck Burton, killing him.

 One WPD officer involved is a sergeant and a 15-year-veteran of the department.  The second WPD officer involved is a detective and a 13-year-veteran of the department.  Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol of officer-involved shootings.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and WPD are investigating the incident. The KBI assisted in the investigation to provide transparency and avoid conflicts of interest. 

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