Man in Wheelchair Shot Dead During Arrest

Cops say he reached for his gun, struggle ensued

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff | Suggested by AstroDude

Posted Aug 5, 2013 3:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – A man in a wheelchair was fatally shot by a cop in Mesa, Arizona, as he and several officers struggled over a gun he was carrying, reports the Arizona Republic. Police say they stopped the man—later IDed as Chris Allan Chipman, 49, reports Fox 10—on the sidewalk, and intended to arrest him on an outstanding felony drug warrant. While waiting for a vehicle that could accommodate his wheelchair, the officers say they found and confiscated two knives from under the waistband of Chipman's pants. Then they spotted the gun holstered to his side.

Police say Chipman reached for the gun, at which point the cops began fighting with him for it, and one officer fired his own gun at the man. A civilian witness says an ambulance was called, but Chipman died at the scene. "To maybe the onlooker, they think, ‘Oh, there’s a guy in a wheelchair,’ but because, for one, you can tend to take their motives and things for granted or see them as handicapped, that doesn’t mean they can’t grab a weapon and fire a gun," says a police spokesperson. The three officers have been put on paid suspension while the shooting is investigated.

  (Shutterstock)
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