Two officer involved shootings leads to some confusion

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Sheriff Jeff Easter describes what happened during a deputy involved shooting on Nov 27th in Wichita. Sheriff Jeff Easter describes what happened during a deputy involved shooting on Nov 27th in Wichita.
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Two officer involved shootings happened nearly simultaneously in Wichita Tuesday, creating some challenges for local law enforcement.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff says there were times when communication was an issue. 

"In my 30 years here, almost, we've never had two officer involved shootings at almost identical times," said Sheriff Jeff Easter Wednesday morning.

A 'rare occurrence,' that's what Easter called these two cases from Tuesday.  On Kellogg, Wichita Police say an officer fired at a man trying to run him  down.  On South Oliver, the Sedgwick County Sheriff says a deputy shot a man firing toward a crowded government building.

"It was a little hectic," he said.

With Wichita Police and Sedgwick County Sheriff's officers responding to both scenes the biggest problem ended up being communication.

"They were both on the same channel, which was the east side channel, so we had both of those incidents going on at the same time, so it was a little bit hectic," said Easter. 

They have a system in place to prevent confusion, switching specific major incidents over to special radio channels, but that takes a few minutes.  A few minutes that weren't immediately available Tuesday.

"This happened so quickly, together, it took us a little bit to get switched over to another channel," he said.

But, the sheriff added, despite that initial and temporary confusion, they had no problems handling either incident.  He calls that a testament to how well the two departments work together.

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