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Suspect Dead After Sallisaw Officer Fires Weapon During Traffic Stop

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SEQUOYAH COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a Sallisaw Police officer shot and killed a man during a traffic stop Sunday night.

The shooting happened outside the Sallisaw hospital at about 10:45 p.m.

The man is identified as 37-year-old Jonathan Atchley.

Justin Gregory lives in the area and said he was surprised to hear the news.

"I will say, in our small town, the cops, they don't bother ya," he said.

The OSBI said a Sallisaw officer stopped Atchley's Ford Focus for a defective vehicle. They said during the stop, the officer learned Atchley had an active warrant.

OSBI said Atchley got aggressive and assaulted the officer. Shortly after, they said a second officer arrived to assist and Atchley started fighting with that officer.

At some point during the second fight, the first officer shot Atchley, who was taken to the hospital where he died.

Gregory said with storms in the area, he didn't realize what happened near his home.

“My wife said that she heard something and asked me what it was, and I thought it was thunder and I said go back to sleep, so that's what we did," he said.

Gregory said it wasn't until they woke up Monday morning that they heard what happened.

"Our phones actually started going crazy about 5:00 this morning, checking to make sure if we was okay," he said.

He said he's lived in his house for 20 years, and things are usually quiet. Gregory said this isn't the kind of news they're used to in the town, but he's not concerned.

"I hate to see anyone lose their life, but if you fight with cops...they gotta go home to their families at night," he said.

Sallisaw Police asked for the OSBI to investigate. Once that investigation is complete, OSBI agents will present their report to the Sequoyah County DA's office.

Both officers involved are on paid administrative leave.

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