Chandler police cleared in fatal shooting - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler police cleared in fatal shooting

August 19th, 2019 development
Chandler police cleared in fatal shooting



Maricopa County prosecutors have decided not to pursue criminal charges against the Chandler police officers who shot and killed an 84-year-old man last October. 

Kay Kenniker was fatally shot in the head on Oct. 12 after he pointed a firearm at Chandler police officers outside his residence on Calle Del Norte.  

One of Kenniker’s friends contacted authorities after they saw Kenniker pull out a handgun and threaten to shoot himself in the head, police reports show. The friend told investigators they convinced Kenniker to put the gun down and managed to hide it from him. 

Kenniker appeared intoxicated, the friend reported, and mumbled about being “mad at the world.” 

The friend further disclosed Kenniker had been upset at the Chandler Police Department for arresting his son in March 2018 for possessing child pornography. 

Court records show the son pleaded guilty about a month after Kenniker’s death and was sentenced to 10 years in the state Department of Corrections. 

On Oct. 12, officers responded to Kenniker’s residence at around 5 p.m. and planned to ask the subject if he needed assistance. Officers reported seeing Kenniker appear in the doorway and he began shouting profanities at them, police reports show.

Officers saw Kenniker waving around a handgun and reported hearing one round being fired. Kenniker then went inside his residence and came back out with a rifle. 

The officers took cover behind their patrol cars and claimed they saw Kenniker point his gun in their direction. Two officers fired at Kenniker after he didn’t respond to their commands to drop the weapon. 

A crime scene technician later noted the rifle found near Kenniker’s body didn’t have any rounds loaded in it. 

Four days before Kenniker’s death, Chandler officers responded to a similar call of suicidal threats at his residence. Police reports show he declined to speak with officers.

Public records show the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office informed the Chandler Police Department in July it found no criminal acts had been committed in Kenniker’s death.  

The County Attorney’s Office reviewed 81 officer-involved shooting cases from 2018, only two of which involved the Chandler Police Department. 

Aside from the Kenniker case, Chandler officers shot at Allen Pedro in January 2018 after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop. Pedro was eventually caught and sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated assault. 

One of the last Chandler officers to be charged for an on-duty incident was Daniel Lovelace, who shot and killed a woman outside a pharmacy near Dobson and Warner roads in 2002. 

Lovelace, who resigned from the agency, took the case to trial and was acquitted of second-degree murder.