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DA rules, based on OSBI investigation, Wagoner County officer-involved shooting justifiable

Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 20:22:29-04

WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. - The District Attorney has ruled, based on an OSBI investigation, that a deadly officer-involved shooting in Wagoner County was justifiable.

In a letter sent to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jeremy Yerton, DA Jack Thorp wrote: "Based upon my review of your investigation, it is my opinion that Wagoner County Sheriff Deputy Lt. Kyle Johnson and Deputy James Burk acted justifiably when they used deadly force, in defense of themselves, and other law enforcement personnel at the scene on Feb. 17, 2018."

On that night, a Catoosa man, Paul Strickland, was shot and killed by officers after a lengthy standoff at a trailer park in the 28000 block of E. 5th St. in Wagoner County.

Another deputy heard shots coming from a specific trailer and law enforcement surrounded the trailer.

Rogers County law enforcement arrived to help Wagoner County deputies. Communication was established with Strickland at that point, but law enforcement couldn't talk him out.

Law enforcement reported that Strickland was firing a semi-automatic rifle in a careless manner from within the trailer.

In his letter to the OSBI, DA Tharp wrote that multiple civilians were present and were in danger. The OSBI investigation shows that Lt. Johnson heard Strickland say he was armed with an "M4" and Johnson made the decision to set up a perimeter.

When that was done, Lt. Johnson gave the order to turn all lights on the trailer, from the patrol cars, headlights, take down lights and a spotlight. According to the investigation, law enforcement tried to entice Strickland to come out of the trailer unarmed, but his reply was, "You know what, f--- you all. I'm coming out. Are you ready for it?"

Shortly after that, Strickland exited the trailer with firearm in hand and pointed it at law enforcement, the OSBI investigation stated.

Lt. Johnson and Deputy Burk then shot and killed Strickland.

Statements made by law enforcement were corroborated by witnesses at the scene and civilians.

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