The family of a Kansas man shot by police Saturday night are saying he was unarmed and they want to know why officers had to kill him, reports KWCH.
John Paul Quintero, who recently turned 23, was shot and killed by Wichita Police after the family had called 911 following an incident in their home involving a knife. When police arrived at the home, Quintero was seated in an SUV parked in front of the home with his father.
According to police, they approached the vehicle and asked both men to exit the car, and the older Quintero complied.
Police state that the younger Quintero was drunk and confrontational and refused commands from the officer. After exiting the SUV he began walking towards the back of the vehicle as officers at the scene ordered him to show his hands. According to authorities, one officer then used a Taser on him when he failed to comply.
Saying the Taser seemed to have no effect on him, authorities say the officers saw him reach for his waistband — and a backup officer shot him with a patrol rifle, hitting him twice in the midsection.
Following the shooting, Quintero was taken to a local medical facility where he died a few hours later.
Family members admit the young man was drunk and had brandished a knife earlier, but said he didn’t have the knife on him when he confronted police.
“There was knife present, but it was in the back of the SUV and out of arm’s reach for my cousin to even grab it,” his cousin, Alina Quintero said.
“It wasn’t right for them just to kill him for no reason at all, like we called you for help and instead of coming to help us you destroyed us,” she added.
Police say the 911 call indicated that Quintero reportedly had been involved in an argument that turned physical prior to their arrival. According to a police spokesperson, he allegedly “was armed with a knife and began threatening to kill individuals in the residence.”
One witness at the home told police Quintero had assaulted his father with the knife before the two men went outside to the SUV.
In a statement to the press, the family said, “We called the police for help during an incident that had involved knives in the home and had since been resolved. This call was placed by his father, my uncle and by his aunt, who was no present at the home, for the safety of her daughter and to further deescalate the situation so that everyone could make it home safely.”
The statement went on to read, “The police escalated a situation that could have been resolved and the officer that killed John Paul shot him with her service rifle all but eliminating his chances of survival, while he was both unarmed with his hands up and intoxicated, likely not having full capacity to follow officer commands.To add insult to injury the police have only contacted us to place blame on John Paul, which we reject. We want justice for John Paul, who like others across the country who are gunned down, while unarmed, by police.”
Watch the video below from KWCH: