Man shot to death in confrontation with Oklahoma troopers during flood

Reuters News
Posted: May 30, 2015 4:48 PM

(Reuters) - A man was shot to death by at least one Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper after he was told to get away from rising flood waters on a road and began fighting with a trooper, an official said on Saturday.

The unusual shooting occurred on Friday evening as more storms and flooding swept through parts of the state. The weather has led to at least 11 deaths in the state this month.

Two troopers who responded to an emergency call about a stalled vehicle northeast of Okmulgee, less than 30 miles south of Tulsa, saw two men trying to move a pickup-truck on a flooded road, said Highway Patrol spokesman Captain Paul Timmons.

"The water was rising pretty rapidly and it was running across the roadway already," Timmons said.

The troopers told the men to walk to where they were on dry land, and when they did as ordered a fight broke out and one trooper was pushed to the ground, Timmons said.

At least one and possibly both troopers opened fire, and one of the men who had been pushing the truck was shot to death, Timmons said. He could not say if either of them was armed.

"The details aren't real clear," Timmons said, adding that the incident was under investigation.

The troopers arrested the man accompanying the one shot to death, Timmons said. He could not say on what charge he was arrested.

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The name and age of the man shot to death was not immediately released.

The shooting comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of use of force by law enforcement, especially against minorities, after the high-profile deaths of a number of African-American men in encounters with police.

The two men involved in the incident and the two state troopers were all white, Timmons said.

The two troopers are likely to be placed on leave as the shooting is investigated, he said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish)