WICHITA - The investigation continues after a 32-hour standoff ended last week with the death of the suspect in southwest Wichita.
Wichita police chief Norman Williams says the suspect, 24-year-old Jared Woosypiti, had been consuming drugs before and after he fired gunshots during a robbery last Wednesday inside the Kmart at 47th Street South & Broadway; that info came to police from a female friend of the suspect. She had been inside the apartment south of Seneca & MacArthur where the suspect eventually barricaded himself.
The U.S. Marshal's office informed Wichita police that the suspect had threatened to make bombs, putting nails in them, and that if law enforcement came in, the apartment would "go up like the 4th of July." Family-members had also indicated that the suspect had said it would be "suicide by cop" if they came in to try and get him.
On the afternoon of July 4th, ex-con Woosypiti became a wanted suspect again after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend multiple times in Derby. After that, a warrant was issued for his arrest for attempted first-degree murder.
On July 5th, Wichita police attempted to stop a 2006 Dodge Caravan which had been stolen from Woodbridge Home Exteriors in east Wichita. Police believe the suspect was driving that vehicle; he got away.
The gunfire and attempted robbery at the Kmart happened on Wednesday afternoon; police believe after that, the suspect went to the apartment of a female friend at Southlake Village; she exited, leaving him alone in the apartment. A witness at the Kmart got a partial tag number on the suspect's vehicle, which police traced to the apartment complex.
Chief Williams says on five different occasions on Wednesday evening, the suspect fired gunshots at police officers. He says police, trying to get into the barricaded apartment, began using controlled blasts on the south side of the apartment building, in an effort to get tear gas inside the apartment.
Early on Thursday morning, the suspect told police repeatedly that he was going to come out, but he never did. Police believe he had kicked a hole in the wall, and had gone into an adjacent apartment. Throughout the day Thursday, police tried to communicate with the suspect by phone and by loudspeaker, but he would not respond to commands to surrender.
On Thursday afternoon, a canine unit was sent to the apartment, but the suspect fired at the dog and at officers, who had to back off.
Police also used water cannons, trying to knock down the sheet rock so they could have a better chance of getting tear gas inside the apartment.
On Thursday night, police used three more controlled blasts, followed by tear gas.
Chief Williams says at about 10:00 p.m. Thursday, he made the final decision to end the standoff. Chief Williams says he made the decision based on several factors:
*There was an arrest warrant out for the suspect for attempted first-degree murder
*The attempted gunfire and the robbery in the Kmart
*The suspect had repeatedly fired at officers
*The suspect's non-compliance with commands to surrender peacefully
*The threats of bombs and blowing up the apartment
*The fatigue on law enforcement personnel after a 32-hour standoff
Chief Williams says he consulted with the city's law department, the city manager, Sedgwick County sheriff Jeff Easter, and Reno County sheriff Randy Henderson, before making the decision to "go ahead and take him out ... if the shot was there, let's take it, and end this threat to our community." Chief Williams says a gunshot was fired at the suspect "from a distance."
SWAT Teams from 10 different law enforcement agencies were present during the standoff, including: Wichita, Butler County, Derby, Harvey County, Hutchinson, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, McPherson, Reno County, Sedgwick County, and Southern Kansas. There were several dozen law enforcement personnel on scene.
The Reno County sheriff's office is leading an investigation into the standoff.