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Video: 73-Year-Old Oklahoma Reserve Deputy Accidentally Shoots, Kills Suspect

April 13, 2015  | 

VIDEO: 73-Year-Old Oklahoma Reserve Deputy Accidentally Shoots, Kills Suspect

The Tulsa County (Okla.) Sheriff's Officer has released a video of an incident in which a 73-year-old reserve deputy shot and killed a suspect April 2 during an undercover operation. The reserve deputy has told investigators he believed he was holding a Taser, not a gun, when the shooting occurred.

The reserve deputy who shot the man is a Tulsa insurance company executive who was working undercover as a member of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Task Force. He received his reserve status in 2008.

The sheriff's office says the reserve deputy was assigned to the Tulsa County Violent Crimes Task Force and had received specialized training in homicide investigation, meth lab identification and decontamination, and other specialized training.

The Tulsa World reports that the reserve deputy and insurance company executive served as chairman of the Re-elect Sheriff (Stanley) Glanz Committee in 2012 and donated $2,500 to Glanz’s campaign that year. He also reportedly has donated multiple vehicles, guns and stun guns to the Sheriff’s Office

Suspect Harris fled arrest and was involved in an altercation with another deputy when he was shot, Maj. Shannon Clark said. Clark said in a release Friday that Harris had come to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office during an investigation into methamphetamine distribution.

Harris sold meth to undercover investigators and said he had access to guns, as well, Clark said in the release. On Thursday, Harris met a task force member in the parking lot of a Dollar General to sell him a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition, then ran when other deputies tried to take him into custody.

Court records show that six criminal felony cases and one misdemeanor case were filed against Harris in Tulsa County District Court over a 10-year span. His convictions include making threatening telephone calls and escaping from a penal institution in 1990, as well as robbery with a dangerous weapon in 1999. He also was found guilty of forging a document and two counts of larceny, records show.

The reserve deputy, according to the release, saw Harris reach near his waistband as he fled from pursuing deputies and responded by pulling out what he thought was a Taser. After Harris became involved in a struggle with another deputy, the reserve deputy, thinking he was using a Taser, fired one shot, striking Harris.

The reserve deputy involved in this incident apparently is not alone as both a donor and reserve deputy. While the Sheriff’s Office has not released its full roster, Clark told the Tulsa World other wealthy donors are among the agency’s 130 reserve deputies.

"There are lots of wealthy people in the reserve program," Clark said. "Many of them make donations of items. That’s not unusual at all."


Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

gail @ 4/13/2015 11:19 AM

Just read on and got my answer, because he gave them money and police cars.

Peter J. Donnelly @ 4/13/2015 12:24 PM

An unfortunate incident. It may have been prevented with training on lethal and non-lethal weapons placement on the duty belt, such as strong hand directional draw for the firearm and cross draw for the Taser. The Washington Post has already published an article bashing reserve programs. As a Texas reserve officer I have to meet the same training requirements as a full time paid officer, and I donate my most valuable possession, my time. I can spend it but not earn it or save it. I wish the "police experts" realized this. My prayers are for the victim, his family and the officer involved.

LLCxx @ 4/13/2015 5:12 PM

This "reserve deputy" at 73, had no business out there. I think it's clear that he had no intentions to shoot the suspect. This happened before with a quite younger Oakland Ca. transit cop some years ago. This deputy's childhood fantasy to be a cop may have just ruined his life ... although I don't think he will do heavy prison time. My question is, "who's responsible for him being out there?"... at 73 years old? So what if he's rich and gives money to local LE. Let him be a school crossing guard or do traffic at special events ... somebody should have used some common sense.

R ISAACS @ 4/13/2015 5:47 PM

BASED ON THE PERPS PAST CRIMINAL RECORD, HIS ATTEMPT ESCAPE AND HID RESISTING ARREST. THE ONLY MISTAKE THE 73 YEAR OLD HERO MADE WAS APOLOGIZING FOR SHOOTING THE DIRTBAG. I HOPE HE GETS A MEDAL.

Jon Retired LEO @ 4/13/2015 8:13 PM

When my department added the Tazers to our belts we carried them on the weak side opposite our firearms so that we drew them in a cross draw motion. As Mr. Donnelly stated in his post extensive training went into the Tazer program. We were required to draw and fire 2 cartridges a week to stay certified. On our off time we practiced the cross draw and unsnapping the safety catch on the holster. Tragic situation for all involved.

plato's playdough @ 4/14/2015 12:55 AM

All the gangstas are taking notes. If the police arrive as you are committing an armed robbery, ditch the piece, put your hands up "Hands up don't shoot" and run away like a bunny rabbit.

Police are not allowed to shoot you, the recently armed felon with a rap sheet the size of Donkey Kong's member.

James @ 4/14/2015 11:55 PM

Who gives any of us the right to judge another? So basically what I'm hearing is because someone's history was criminal they deserved to die.."All the gangstas are taking notes?" If any of us were judged by the man holding the gun then I'm sure none of us would exist, because we all have a past. And to suggest that one deserves to die is hypocritical and stereotypical. When crimes are committed it warrants justice to be served and in most cases the death penalty isn't on the agenda, but for some reason death happens. Arrest the man, take him into custody and let the judge decide his fate not the man holding the gun. I wonder what type of past do we all have and how many mistakes have we made and continue to make today? Should we be shot dead for those mistakes. Should every man expect to die when he runs from the police? Do u have the right to kill me because i made bad choices in my life? The next time any of us make a mistake rather than judge...Judge yourself first!

Nightstalker @ 4/19/2015 8:07 PM

Right on James.

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