A Kansas family is now regretting their decision to call the police in hopes that they could bring calm to a chaotic night. Instead, the officers brought nothing but tragedy after they fatally shot an unarmed young man who simply had too much to drink.
The family of John Paul Quintero, who had just recently turned 23, claims the officer had no reason to use deadly force against the young man who they say was unarmed at the time of the altercation, KWCH reported.
Wichita police officers responded to the scene after the family called 911 and reported an incident involving a knife.
Quintero was sitting in a parked SUV alongside his father when police arrived.
The officers said they approached the vehicle and asked both men to step outside.
While the father followed the orders, an admittedly drunk younger Quintero wasn’t so quick to follow orders.
Officers said he became confrontational and refused to obey police orders, but the family says that’s not enough to take somebody’s life.
Once he exited the vehicle and allegedly refused to show the officers his hands, an officer fired a patrol rifle and hit him in the torso two times.
Officers claim they tried to Taser him first but said this had no effect on the young man.
Quintero died a few hours after being shot.
The family was crushed by the loss and is now dealing with the cruel irony of the fact that their trust in law enforcement took a deadly turn. They trusted that the officers would have the ability to resolve the situation, which they say hadn’t turned violent.
“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,” said his cousin, Alina Quintero, according to Raw Story.
Quintero’s cousin also insisted that he was clearly not armed despite officers saying he reached for a suspicious item in his waistband.
“There was a knife present, but it was in the back of the SUV and out of arm’s reach for my cousin to even grab it,” she said.
The police defended their quick decision to pull the trigger by saying the 911 call indicated that the situation had already turned violent before their arrival.
The family says it was the police who escalated the situation with violence, but exact details on what happened before the police arrived are still unclear.
“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,” a statement released by the family read. “To add insult to injury the police have only contacted us to place blame on John Paul, which we reject.”
The shooting comes in the midst of many other unarmed men of color being gunned down by police officers.
“We want justice for John Paul, who, like others across the country, [was] gunned down while unarmed by police,” the statement added.