Wichita Police Officer Dexter Betts Charged In Child Involved Shooting

Wichita Police Officer Dexter Betts has been charged for an on-duty shooting that occurred in December

  • Betts fired his weapon twice at a mid-sized dog with four children in the room

  • One of Betts’ bullets struck the floor and fragmented then hit a 9-year-old girl in the face with shrapnel

  • Almost a month after the shooting Betts was fired from his job

  • A felony charge was filed against Betts on March 20 and his first court date is April 11

For the first time in at least twenty years, an officer from the Wichita Kansas Police Department will be charged for an on-duty shooting that occurred in December 2017.

Officer Dexter Betts has a felony filed against him for the incident in December. Betts fired his weapon twice at a dog inside a home with four children in close proximity. A 9-year-old girl was struck in the face with shrapnel from a bullet that hit the floor and fragmented. The dog—a 35- to 40-pound miniature English bull terrier named Chevy—was not injured during the incident.

The Wichita Eagle reported the felony charge filed on March 20 states that Betts “did … unlawfully and recklessly cause bodily harm to another person … (the child) in a manner whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death could have been inflicted, to wit: firing a handgun at a dog while a child was in the room.” Betts’ first court date is April 11.

On December 30—just two days after an officer from the WPD shot and killed Andrew Finch while responding to a prank “swatting” call—Danielle Maples called 911 for help with her distraught husband. According to a press release from WPD on January 2, 911 dispatch received a call “of a domestic dispute and suicidal person with a gun at 1500 North Gentry.”

Officers were told a 33-year-old man inside the home “had held a gun in his mouth and choked a dog.” The gun was said to be on the couple’s bed inside the house, underneath a pillow. Maples and her husband were outside of the residence waiting for officers to arrive. After officers arrived, Betts allegedly entered the house unannounced to retrieve the gun.

While the officers were retrieving the gun, a mid-sized mixed breed dog charged at one of the officers. The officer pulled his service weapon and shot at the dog, missing it. The round struck the hard surfaced floor .. and broke into fragments.

Without warning, two gunshots were heard from inside the house followed by someone screaming that “They’ve shot your dog.” The next thing Maples heard was her husband yelling they shot her 9-year-old daughter. Maples was told her daughter was stable, but she was not allowed to see her until they arrived at the hospital.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay met the family at the hospital that night to check on Maples’ daughter. The family did not finish giving statements and get back to their home until around 3:00 am on Sunday, December 31.

Sometime around 8:00 am, Ramsay called Maples phone to apologize again and check on her daughter. Maples asked Ramsay where their dog Chevy was. Ramsay told her he would have the dog returned to the home and within the hour Chevy was back at home.

During that conversation, Ramsay allegedly went on to say that due to another case he believed the media would be involved. Maples believed Ramsay was speaking of the December 28 shooting of Andrew Finch. Ramsay wanted the two to get together before the media became involved.

Hours later, Ramsay sent the following two texts to Maples.

At 2:14 p.m.: “Danielle, sorry to bother you, but wanted to make sure we got you your dog back and need to touch base with you on another important matter about this incident. Please call me when it’s convenient. Thank you. Chief Gordon Ramsay”

At 2:27 p.m.: “Just to reiterate as I know this is stressful and very tough. The media does not have this incident. Lets touch base when you’re ready. I’m so sorry ……”

Almost a month after the shooting it was reported that Betts was terminated from his job. Betts had only been on the force since January 17, 2017.

Comments

comments

About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

Leave a Reply