An Oklahoma police lieutenant has been indicted for second-degree murder in the May 20 killing of a woman during a vehicle pursuit. Supporters of Blackwell, OK, police Lieutenant John Mitchell say the suspect was an active shooter. The media describes her as a “road rage suspect.”
Oklahoma City grand jurors concluded Lt. Mitchell acted without justifiable or excusable cause and engaged in "imminently dangerous conduct" toward Micheal Ann Godsey. If convicted, he faces at least 10 years in prison.
Defense attorney Gary James said Mitchell acted lawfully to stop a threat.
"She shot at the police twice. She has shot at her mother twice. She has shot at a private citizen. We know she fired other rounds around town. And Mitchell gets in behind her," the attorney told the Oklahoman. "He took his AR-15 and he started shooting through the front windshield at her."
Godsey, 34, was found dead in the driver's seat of the pickup, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in May.
The attorney said Mitchell had just completed training on how to deal with an active shooter and was cleared by an independent internal affairs review of the incident.
KTUL reports some Blackwell residents were shocked by the indictment.
For the law enforcement community, the indictment has sent a chilling shockwave of concern, summed up by the state president of the fraternal order of police.
"This would be the first time in American history that a police officer or anybody was charged with the crime of murder for shooting at an active shooter," said Jason Smith, president of the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police.