OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A man was shot and killed by an Oklahoma City police officer early Sunday after he refused to drop a rifle, officials said.
It’s the third time in the past two weeks in which a suspect has died during a confrontation with the city’s officers. All of the incidents are under investigation, Capt. Paco Balderrama said.
Officers responded shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday to a report that a person had been shot and injured at a residence on the city’s southwest side, police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said. Upon arriving, officers were then confronted by a man who was armed with a rifle, Knight said.
The man refused instructions to drop the rifle and raised it toward an officer, Knight said. The officer then shot and killed the man, he said.
Authorities didn’t identify the man who was killed or the officer. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Knight said the person as injured in the earlier shooting was being treated at a hospital and is expected to survive.
All three recent police-involved deaths will be reviewed by homicide investigators to determine whether laws were violated, Balderrama said. Authorities will also review the incidents to determine whether the officers involved followed police policy and procedures in their contact with the suspects.
“We gather facts,” Balderrama said. It will ultimately be up to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater’s office to decide whether criminal charges are filed, he said.
On Feb. 25, two Oklahoma City officers shot and killed 37-year-old Glenn Lewis after a short auto chase and when Lewis accelerated toward the officer. Sgt. Keith Sweeney and Officer Steven Cholity are on administrative leave.
Darrell Gatewood, 47, died March 1 at a hospital. Officers used a stun gun on him during an arrest after Gatewood ignored their verbal instructions, police officials said. Three officers, Sgt. Raymond Swearingen, Sgt. Jacob Jones and Officer Adam Lynch, are also on leave.
“Every single case has to be scrutinized and reviewed completely,” Balderrama said. “Some are more clear-cut than others. But I don’t want to downplay the fact that we’re still going to review it.”
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