Oklahoma City police officers shot and killed Magdiel Sanchez, a 35-year-old deaf man, Tuesday night after he approached them with a metal pipe.
Sanchez, as a result of his disability, didn't obey officers' commands, which led to the officers fatally shooting him, according to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews.
Mathews said that witnesses of the incident repeatedly cried, "He can't hear you!" before officers on the scene fired and killed Sanchez.
Mathews said that officers received reports of a hit-and-run Tuesday evening when they arrived at the address listed in the report. The vehicle was no longer on the premises, but Sanchez was sitting on the porch.
It was later revealed that Sanchez's father was the driver in the hit-and-run incident, but he had struck an object with his vehicle, and not another person.
Mathews said that when officers arrived, Sanchez had a metal pipe in his hand that measured approximately two feet in length. He said that Sanchez began making his way off the porch, toward the officers.
Witnesses overheard officers giving commands to Sanchez, but according to Mathews, officers did not hear their protests that Sanchez was deaf and could not understand the officers' commands.
"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," Matthews said. "I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point."
Mathews added that neither officer was wearing a body cam.
Background on Sanchez
Sanchez's neighbor, Julio Rayos, told the Oklahoman on Wednesday that not only was Sanchez deaf, but he was also unable to speak.
"He don't speak, he don't hear, mainly it is hand movements. That's how he communicates," Rayos said. "I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on."
Another neighbor, Jolie Guebara, told The Associated Press that it was customary for Sanchez to have a stick in his hand to fend off stray dogs.
"He always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there's a lot of stray dogs," Guebara said.
Sanchez did not have a criminal record.