Wichita officer dragged by a vehicle released from hospital

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer who fatally shot a man while being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop has been released from the hospital, authorities said Monday.

The officer was talking to 26-year-old Nicholas Garner through the open door of the Toyota Prius after pulling him over Saturday night for traffic infraction, said Interim Wichita Police Chief Nelson Mosley.

Investigators believe the officer may have tried to stop him from driving away and became lodged in the car, with his legs hanging outside.

Police are still obtaining and reviewing surveillance video, and have asked the public for any information or video they may have of the incident. The officer was not wearing a body camera.

The preliminary investigation has determined that Garner likely hit the officer’s patrol car during the first lap around gas station pumps, and made at least two more laps around the parking lot at a high rate of speed, Mosley said. It then jumped a barrier between the gas station and a McDonald’s restaurant, hitting an occupied vehicle in the parking lot. He then sped down the wrong way on a major Wichita thoroughfare, narrowly missing three more vehicles and a motorcycle before eventually colliding with an oncoming vehicle — all while dragging the officer.

Police said that after that last car was hit, the officer pulled his gun and shot the driver. He died at the scene.

Mosley said he was grateful to several motorists who came to the officer’s aid, including one who used the police radio to alert dispatch.

“I want to remind you that officers put their lives on the line each and every day,” Mosley said. “And we are saddened that an officer had to make a life or death decision.”

The officer, whose identity has not been released, has been with the Wichita police department for more than six years. He is on administrative leave under department policy while the shooting is investigated.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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