TIA suspect arrested after incident leads to shots fired at Tulsa airport
7:06 AM, Aug 27, 2013
9:47 PM, Aug 27, 2013
TULSA - A Catoosa man is in custody after police say he tried to run over an airport officer at Tulsa International Airport early Tuesday morning.
Police say it began around 4:30 a.m. after a call concerning a suspicious person in the parking lot of Hilton Garden Inn near Apache and Airport Drive.
TIA spokeswoman Alexis Higgins says the airport officer spotted the suspect, Richard Kinison, crossing the street near the motel.
"They were walking through parking lots looking at vehicles," Higgins said. "When our officer approached him, he appeared to be sweaty and out of breath and questionable."
Kinison, 38, entered the lobby, walked out, and told the officer he was waiting for a ride, according to TPD.
A truck pulled up shortly after and Kinison got in. Higgins says the officer then ordered the driver to stop, at which time Kinison allegedly slid over into the driver seat and proceeded to gun the truck toward the officer.
The officer fired on the vehicle, leading Kinison to flee on foot. The two others in the car were questioned and released.
Tulsa police were called in about an hour after the shooting to help process the scene. Several hours later the investigation was handed over to the department.
Officers with the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force found Kinison around 1:45 p.m. near East 51st Street and South Memorial Drive.
Kinison is being held on seven counts related to the incident, including assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a stolen vehicle and driving under the influence of drugs. He's scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Of the 160 employees at the Tulsa International Airport, a portion is dedicated to policing the grounds at the airport.
Due to safety, Higgins couldn't comment on the number of officers working in law enforcement at the airport, but did say their job has them both on airport grounds and in the airfield.
"They are responsible for the land side safety of the airport, as well as for maintaining the safety of the airfield and making sure that we are in compliance with all of the Federal Aviation Administration requirements."
Tulsa International Airport police are held to the same training requirements as police officers and sheriffs deputies throughout the state of Oklahoma. They're required to complete 25 hours of continuing education in law enforcement training annually.
"By all means, our officers go through the same training, have to meet the same certifications that every other officer and every other law enforcement agency has to meet."
Every three years, they work with other local law enforcement agencies and federal agencies to perform disaster preparedness drills at the airport. Those hypothetical situations might include a tornado striking the airport, a plane crash or a terrorist attack.
Higgins couldn't comment on specific protocols or response tactics when respoding to a crime in progress, but did say airport officers have discretion in terms of alerting other police agencies, like Tulsa police.
"We have procedures in place and should our officers determine that they need additional assistance, they definitely will call TPD," he said.
The officer involved in Tuesday morning's shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is being performed by the Tulsa Police Department.