Family members, witness call officer-involved shooting excessive
8:06 PM, Feb 1, 2013
8:10 PM, Feb 1, 2013
PRYOR, Okla. - Family members are outraged after a police officer shot a handcuffed man in Pryor.
An off-duty Salina police officer says he killed Will Perneau after the 29-year-old fired at him and a Mayes County deputy.
Perneau's family says the officers used excessive force.
The incident happened early Tuesday morning at the Days Inn in Pryor. Authorities say they were responding to a report of drugs in one of the hotel rooms, which led them to Will Perneau.
According to the Mayes County Sheriff, Mike Reed, a deputy and an off duty officer from Salina found Perneau and his girlfriend inside the hotel room.
"Just as they were getting him cuffed the female subject that was there, she started in, being uncooperative, they turned their attention immediately to her," said Reed.
That's when they say the handcuffed Perneau fired at them.
"As they turn to her the subject that has been cuffed, he reached in his pants area and retrieved a firearm and spun around and started shooting at the officers and the officers returned fire," said Reed.
Perneau's girlfriend, Ronell Mclemore, tells a different story.
Mclemore says she didn't know about any drugs, didn't realize Perneau had a gun and denies being uncooperative.
"He was just like I'm so sorry and I just started crying and he's like I'm not going back to prison and I heard a shot," said Mclemore.
She says she understands why officers fired at him, but she thinks it was over the line.
"It sounded like four or five shots and I don't understand why they kept shooting him," said Mclemore.
Perneau's sister, Lauren Perneau, believes her brother did not have to die.
"There's no need to stand over a handcuffed man who's moaning and dying already to continue to shoot him," said Perneau.
She calls it an abuse of power.
"It's like we have modern day thugs with a badge, walking around they like they can just kill whoever they want," said Perneau.
Sheriff Reed says his officers did what they had to in a dangerous situation.
"I'm backing my officers," said Reed.
The officer and the deputy are on routine paid leave.
The OSBI is in charge of investigating the incident.