Family identify man killed in shootout with Wichita police

Posted: Updated:
Fred Burton Fred Burton
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Authorities say a 56-year-old man has been shot and killed by Wichita police after he fired on officers multiple times. 

Family members identified Fred Burton as the man killed in Thursday morning's shootout. Wichita police confirmed his identity Friday. 

Officers were called just before 2 a.m. to reports of an explosion at MacArthur's Lake Apartments at 727 West MacArthur. Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said police arrived to hear gunfire coming from the complex. SWAT was called in and law enforcement evacuate some units.

Officers were unable to make contact with the suspect by phone, but Chief Ramsay said police determined the man's identity and that he was having a mental health crisis. 

The suspect fired on armored vehicles, striking them at least four times, and came close to hitting an officer, Ramsay said. Just before 6 a.m., two officers fired each fired once on the suspect, killing him. 

(Related: Two officers on administrative leave - closer look at policy)

"We're very fortunate that no officers were hit," Chief Ramsay said. "I understand one was very close to an officer, like within an inch. We did use an armored vehicle and it's likely those armored vehicles saved a life."

He didn't know whether police have had contact with the suspect prior to Thursday, but he said his family had been trying to get him help.

Burton's sister told KAKE's Lily Wu that her brother “was in a lot of pain” and had battled mental illness for more than a decade.

Police say he was in possession of a rifle and a handgun and was the only one in the apartment. 

Residents say the apartment complex is typically a quiet place so they were shocked by the scene Thursday morning. 

"Very scary to wake up to police standing outside, yellow tape, and no one out there but police and guns," said resident Jasia Leblanc as she walked her son to the school bus. 

Catherine Worley also lives at a nearby apartment and says she witnessed officers putting on bullet proof vests. 

Neighbors say they're glad no one else was hurt in the shootout. 

The KBI and the district attorney's office are investigating.