Girlfriend Of Tulsa Man Shot By Off-Duty Officer Protests His Death
TULSA, Oklahoma - The girlfriend of a man who died Friday after being shot by an off-duty officer is protesting his death. A Department of Veterans Affairs officer shot and killed 23-year-old Rodney Walker.
Tulsa Police say the officer first stopped to help after seeing Walker and his girlfriend fighting. Things quickly escalated, and police say when that officer saw Walker grabbing for a gun in his waistband - he responded by firing shots.
Rodney Walker's girlfriend Quinteisha Rice says the shooting never had to happen.
It all unfolded along West 11th Street three nights ago. Rice and Walker had been arguing, but she says by the time Veteran Affairs Officer Andrew Bryiant stopped to help, the couple's fight was over.
"As soon as he got out of his car he had the gun pointed at Rodney. Rodney was trying to walk away. Our argument was over. We were already separated when the officer got out of his car," Rice said.
Police say Bryiant was off duty and on his way to the Garth Brooks concert when he saw the two fighting, stopped his car and tried to calm things down.
"When you get involved with somebody with a weapon - the officer saw gun in his waistband and he is already involved in the situation. It rapidly evolved and rapidly evolved into shooting," said Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker.
Rice said things never had to get to that level.
Meagan Farley: "Rodney had a gun on him but you say you never saw him reach for it?"
Quinteisha Rice: "Rodney did not pull his gun."
Friends and family say the 23-year-old wasn't a violent person, held a steady job and was going to school.
"He was always taught if you can walk away from a situation to walk away. Everyone can tell you he is very respectful," said ReeCee Buggs-Wallace, his aunt.
"At this point in our investigation there is not enough to arrest the officer for shooting, but things are still very preliminary," Walker said.
"We have to look at everything. We will go back through witness statements again."
And Tulsa homicide detectives will wait for the medical examiner's report. But either way, Quinteisha says her boyfriend didn't need to die.
Meagan Farley: "This off-duty officer thought you were in trouble."
Quinteisha Rice: "I was not. Our altercation was over."
If there are any other witnesses out there, homicide detectives are asking people to come forward.
On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the attorney representing Bryiant released a statement to News On 6. Matt Stacy said, "Mr. Bryiant is cooperating fully. No further comments will be made until the brave men and women of Tulsa County law enforcement have finished their investigation."