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Wichita officer won't be charged in man's fatal shooting


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer who shot and killed a man during a domestic violence incident will not be charged, Sedgwick County District Attorney Mark Bennett said.

The officer, who was a member of the department's SWAT team, shot Jason Williams, 37, in December 2020 in Riverside after Williams had shot his estranged wife and killed his mother-in-law, 52-year-old Michelle Barr, at a Wichita home.

During the confrontation, Williams fired several shots and had threatened to kill himself. Two children and his brother-in-law were also inside the house. Williams' wife had filed for divorce a month before the confrontation, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Williams' wife was shot in the shoulder. The brother-in-law escaped and the two children were released.

Bennett said the officer shot Williams after the children were released because he believed Williams was preventing his wife from leaving the house and intended to kill her.

Bennett said two months after the shooting, the officer was part of a text message thread where SWAT team officers talked casually about shooting and killing people. Bennett said the texts “may well fall below the public’s expectation of the professionalism to which officers should hold themselves” but did not affect the legality of the officer's decision to shoot Williams.