Tulsa Police: Training helped save 2-year-old hostage

Posted at 9:08 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 22:08:20-05

TULSA -- While the case of 44-year-old Salvador Reyes and his death by a Tulsa Police sniper is still under investigation, officers are crediting their training for keeping residents safe.

Tulsa Police consider it the ultimate backup. They're called Precision Rifle Operators and they can see danger long before officers on the ground.

Those images are shocking, but for police, it's precision that's keeping Tulsa safe.

"We'll be able to take care of the problem before anyone even knew about it," said Officer Perry Lewis.

They're called Precision Rifle Operators at the Tulsa Police Department...many know them as snipers.

Officer Lewis trains nearly all of them.

“It was kinda unnerving to put crosshairs on a human being," said Lewis. "That's the worst case scenario...that's a hostage situation.”

Targets from as far as three football fields can be seen with clarity.

With a scope, the wind can be measured, and a shot pinpointed within an inch.

But police say staring at those crosshairs is a responsibility that comes with skill and consequence in real life.

“It's like you knew what you had to do because that child's life was in danger," said Lewis.

Lewis and his officers are trained to be eyes in the sky during standoffs...zeroing in on the smallest of movement inside a building.

They shoot to kill...and to save lives.

What follows the shot is the psychological toll on officers.

“That's when here comes the waves of emotions about being involved in that particular incident," said Lewis.

It's not easy, but if you ask Lewis, his team of Precision Rifle Operators are vital to the City.

"We'll continue training the way we have been and just continuing the way we've been doing because it's working so far.”

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook