Bystander killed during police pursuit of accused shoplifter in Tahlequah

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- A bystander was killed Friday afternoon in Tahlequah during a police chase of a suspect. 

The crash happened at Choctaw Street (Highway 51) and West Avenue. Police confirmed that officers were in pursuit of an accused shoplifter, identified as Aram Barak Catron, 36, when an innocent bystander was struck and killed. 

The cars involved in the pursuit are in pieces at the scene and Catron was taken to an area hospital.

The homeowner of a house near the scene said he heard something hit his home.

Neighbors around the corner heard the commotion.

"They had to have been going about 90, 100 because we heard the car I heard the truck and then I heard the cop engine speed up,” said Kaysha Smallen, a resident in the area.

A witness said she saw a woman dead in her car and a man taken away in an ambulance.

The intersection is blocked off while police continue to investigate the incident. 

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