The Muskogee County District Attorney has announced he will not file charges against an officer who fatally shot a man at a restaurant earlier this month.
In a letter to Muskogee police chief Johnny Teehee, DA Orvil Loge says an investigation has cleared officer Ron Yates from any wrongdoing in the death of Andrew Kana.
Yates fired the fatal shots inside the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill on Nov. 12. He was the backup officer who responded when two other officers were serving warrants on Kana, who was a customer inside the restaurant. Kana was wanted for several crimes, including domestic assault and battery by strangulation.
Officers reportedly were tipped off to Kana’s location by another man.
Before the warrant service, Loge said Yates expressed concern to his fellow officers “because this activity was occurring in a public place.” The letter also states Yates and another officer “wanted to avoid a hostage situation.
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According to the DA, Yates entered the restaurant, made eye contact with Kana and asked him to stand.
“Kana had a blank stare that concerned Yates,” the letter says.
When Yates placed handcuffs on Kana, the man tensed up, so Yates pulled his gun with his right hand while holding on to Kana with his left, the DA says. When Kana placed his right hand on the table, Yates put his gun back into its holster and asked the other two officers to come inside, according to the DA.
When the other two officers entered, Yates told Kana “relax, don’t do it. Don’t do it. Show me your hands,” the letter says.
That’s when Kana reportedly reached into his back pants pocket and pulled a gun.
“Yates stated ‘he’s got a knife. He’s got a gun,’ and fired three times to the body of Kana,” the DA says.
The shooting has been declared justified because Yates gave lawful commands that were ignored while Kana reached for a gun, Loge says.
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