The unidentified Wichita police officer who killed a bank robber last year, will not face criminal charges, Wichita Eagle reported on Thursday, November 4. The bank robber fled the scene in a stolen vehicle into a busy street, potentially putting other people's life at risk. Sedgwick County district attorney, Mark Bennett, said they had no course of action to hold the officer criminal liable.
The police officer has ten years of tenure under his belt, and he acted swiftly to keep law enforcement and citizens of the city safe from what he believed to be a dangerous situation.
“The officer’s explanation ... is supported by the facts. Under these circumstances, (the) officer is immune from prosecution under Kansas law.”
Several gun shots hit the alleged bank robber, Paul Peraza, in Wichita, Kansas around 3:40pm on December 21, 2020. The employees of the credit union, the location of the officer's first contact with Paul, said he came into the bank, went behind the counter, demanded money and fled the scene.
The officer followed the Toyota Tundra Peraza was driving and tried to get close enough to stop the chase. The suspect increased the vehicle's speed to 80 MPH, forcing the officer to closely follow him. It was a dangerous situation because the traffic was congested, increasing the risk to innocent lives.
During the chase, Paul hit another car and backed into the officer's car before speeding off again. He ignored the cop's commands to stop and get out of the truck, hit another parked car, and endangered the life of the officer called to provide backup.
The officer shot his gun four times on the driver's rear side of the truck. Three of the four shot hit the suspect—the fourth shot hit the side of the vehicle. Paul Paraza died at the scene.
The autopsy report confirmed the suspect died from gunshot wounds. In the report, Peraza tested positive for alcohol, as well as fentanyl and methamphetamine. Before his death, the suspect had prior bank robbing convictions in Oklahoma and California. Additionally, he had a federal warrant for violating parole, and Wichita had previously arrested him for illegal possession of a firearm.
Marc Bennett stated they will not release the name of the police officer to protect his privacy. Do you think the district attorney made the right decision? Don't forget to click the follow button to read more of my crime articles.