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Deputy Shot And Killed Innocent Okemah Man, Friends Say

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James Coale was shot and killed Saturday night in Okfuskee County. James Coale was shot and killed Saturday night in Okfuskee County.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a man who was shot by an Okfuskee County deputy Saturday night.

The OSBI said James Carl Coale of Okemah tried to run over a deputy near Okemah.

The OSBI said the deputy pulled over Coale, 36, around 8:45 p.m. because he was driving a vehicle deputies had been looking for in connection to a stabbing earlier in the day Saturday, November 5, 2016, a news release states. One of the deputies was outside his patrol unit when Coale tried to run over him, according to the OSBI.

"The deputy fired several shots at the vehicle, striking Coale. Coale died at the scene," the release states. "The sheriff's office requested OSBI special agents investigate the shooting."

A family friend contacted News On 6 disputing law enforcement's version of what happened Saturday night. The friend said Coale was not the man who was wanted in the stabbing. 

11/5/2016 Related Story: OSBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting Near Okemah

People who knew Coale said he had his flaws, but didn't deserve to die.

"Leaving his little girl, you know it's sad she's gonna have to grow up without a dad it's heartbreaking," said Jada Dennis.

Investigators with The Oklahoma State bureau of investigation say deputies came to this area looking for a stabbing suspect who had driven AWAY FROM a 

Deputies said they finally found the vehicle. During a traffic stop, investigators say, Coale attempted to run over a deputy. That's when the deputy started shooting.

"An innocent man is gone now so I just hope and pray for the best," said Dennis.

Sharon Harjo said, "It just freaked me out when i heard about it."

As word of the shooting spread the common feeling around this small community, where everybody knows everybody, is shock.

"I'm sorry for everybody who has to deal with this stuff if just bothers me that anyone can have this type of tragedy happen," said Harjo.

Jade Dennis says she's known Coale for about 20 years. She couldn't imagine he'd threatened deputies like that with his daughter feet away in the house. 
On top of that, she says deputies pulled over the wrong guy. Saying the true stabbing suspect is still on the run.

The OSBI says it will present the evidence to the district attorney who will determine is the shooting was justified.

"I hope the truth does come out and it gets settled and they get the right person," Dennis said.

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