Police say deadly force was necessary
Sun, 30 Jan 2011 20:12:54 GMT —
UPDATE, Monday, January 31, 5:50 p.m.
Amarillo police are still trying to determine what happened at an early morning shooting Sunday on Polk Street.
Officers were within a block of the shootings when the first shots were fired.
They chased and tasered one person and found a gun near him.
More shots were fired and three young men, after being ordered to stop, drove their vehicle at police who then fired their weapons.
"Shooting out a tire is nearly impossible and not guaranteed to stop a vehicle. On TV, it always works but not in real life. We do not draw firearms unless we're in a situation that requires deadly force. We don't use it as a stop gap measure to stop a vehicle," said Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department.
Anyone witnessing the shooting or if someone happened to capture it on their cell phone, is asked to call special crimes at 378-9468, police would also like you to know you won't be in any trouble for leaving the area before being interviewed.
UPDATE, Monday, January 31, 9:55: The suspect that was shot by police remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
The Special Crimes Unit is continuing to interview witnesses. Police are also actively seeking any witnesses to the incident that occurred Sunday morning just after 2:00, especially those that may have used cell phones to take video or photographs of the incident or aftermath. If you are one of those witnesses you are asked to call Special Crimes Unit at (806) 378-9468.
Early Sunday morning just after 2:00, officers were called on a disorderly subject in the 700 block of South Polk. Shortly after that, the officers learned it was a fight, and that there were two subjects in custody. Officers there then heard shots being fired in the parking lot between 805 and 819 S. Polk. The officers ran to the area, while additional officers were dispatched to respond to the shots fired call.
The area bars were closing and a large number of people were in the parking lots around the bars. A large number of people were screaming and running from the parking lot. Witnesses initially pointed out one man as being involved in the shooting to an officer approaching on foot from 700 S. Polk. The officer saw the suspect described to him approach a vehicle on the lot. The man at one point briefly raised his arms in a way that led the officer to believe he was armed. When the officer attempted to take him into custody, he didn't obey the officer's commands to show his hands. He then ducked behind a car, and the officer heard something hit the ground. The man then ran. The officer took after him for a short distance until he was able to use his taser to take the man into custody. The officer found a gun on the ground behind the car the suspect had hidden behind.
The suspect arrested was, Michael Manyoun, 27, of Amarillo. He has been booked into the Potter County Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault and evading arrest.
While this was happening, three Hispanic men believed to have been involved in the disturbance, got into a black Chevrolet Tahoe parked in the parking lot where the disturbance was reported. A number of men in the lot were seen trying to assault the people getting into the Tahoe.
Witnesses told police that someone in the Tahoe had been shooting at them. The SUV started backing out of the parking lot, at this point, no officers were firing. At least one witness reported that a black man standing in front of the SUV was firing shots at the vehicle as it backed away, officers at the scene also reported more than one burst of gunfire.
Witnesses and officers said that one or more of the vehicle's windows were broken out, possibly from gunshots hitting the SUV, as it backed out of the lot. The vehicle backed out to Polk Street, then backed a short distance southbound on the street. Several officers approached the SUV. Officers believed the vehicle to be involved in the shooting and attempting to leave the area, officers yelled at the driver repeatedly to stop and show his hands. The driver showed no indication that he would obey. Instead he drove forward toward the police officers. Four of the officers fired a number of shots at the driver in an attempt to stop him from running over them.
Witnesses reported seeing the back-up lights on the Tahoe go out, the vehicle move forward, then the officers firing. The vehicle rolled forward and to the west a short distance, before coming to a stop against a building at the southwest corner of 8th and Polk.
The driver was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. An unknown number of gunshot wounds were sustained in some part of the event. He is a Hispanic male age 24 of Amarillo.
One passenger, also a Hispanic male age 24, had a gun shot wound to his arm. He was treated and released. The third person in the vehicle, a Hispanic male age 27, was not injured.
No weapon has been recovered from the vehicle, which is still at the scene being processed.
No officers were injured in this incident. At the time of this release Special Crimes Unit investigators were still interviewing witnesses.