Weekend shooting suspect's father speaks out

Posted: Updated:

The father of the suspect in last weekend's officer-involved shooting is speaking out.

"Anyone who has a son would not want him gunned down due to his mental illness," said Joel Washington.

On Sunday night, Washington's son Christian Joel (C.J.) was shot by a Wichita Police officer after refusing commands.

Police were initially called out to a domestic disturbance call. 

"My wife called and said that my son had showed up at my in-law's house and he'd gotten upset and that she was going to have to call 911. Because of his behavior in the past, there had been a court order against him," said Washington. 

Police said that at one point, Washington's son had pulled something out of his waistband and aimed it an officer. The object officers thought was a gun, turned out to be a pouch with a metal end. 

C.J. suffered one gunshot wound to the abdomen and has remained hospitalized.

Now, the family has more questions.

"How could you show up on the scene of a call when 911, was told he didn't have a weapon present. And the other question that I have. Three officers had their guns drawn. Three. Why was it that only one fired?" asked Washington.

Due to a protection from abuse order filed against their son, police said they had to abide by the law.

"Through the investigation, the WPD learned of a court order preventing contact between the suspect and his father. The WPD is bound by the order unless it is amended by a district court judge. The WPD provided instructions to the father on how to have the order changed, which would allow contact between them," said Wichita Police Officer Charley Davidson.

Today, Washington went to the Sedgwick County Courthouse to dismiss the PFA. 

"It hurts a father to the core to have to go in a courthouse and file and show him tough love and to file a PFA against his son," he said.

Washington believes his son is battling a substance abuse problem and a mental illness.

"Officers had been called to my house numerous times. Those were veteran officers and I appreciated how they handled it. There was a calmness. There was a veteran presence when they showed up," he said. "I still don't understand what possible threat my son could have imposed that made that officer feel as though he had to use lethal or deadly force." 

The officer who shot Washington's son is a seven-month veteran of the department and is on paid administrative leave.

The case is still under investigation.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Christian Joel Washington was released from prison in June 2018. He has served time for possession of drugs, flee and elude law enforcement, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal threat from Sedgwick County.