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'All I Wanted To Do Was Be Free' Says Man Involved In 17-Hour Tulsa Standoff

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The man police say started a 17-hour standoff is telling his side of the story.

Rush Hembree is charged with shooting with intent to kill, kidnapping and obstruction among other charges, but, he said he thinks the police overreacted.

"I told them I didn't want to hurt nobody. I said all I wanted to do was be free," he said.

Police said Hembree released his pregnant girlfriend after holding her hostage for 15 hours.

3/21/2018 Related Story: Nebraska Fugitive Arrested Following Hours-Long Standoff At Tulsa Motel

Hembree said the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and that he panicked.

Hembree: "He was being dishonest by being nice and cordial, and then, all of the sudden, switching to put your hands up and pulled his gun out and all that.”
Erin: “But when someone asks you to put your hands up?”
Hembree: “Yeah. But when they're doing it in that manner right there, you don't know if you're fixing to get shot or what."

During the standoff, police said Hembree fired a gun but no one was hurt.

Hembree: "The whole time they are forming this whole siege on the building, you know.”
Erin: “But did you shoot?”
Hembree: "I did not shoot at any police officer. I did not shoot at any police officer. I did not shoot at any person.”
Erin: “Where did you shoot?”
Hembree: “Why? Let's not talk about shooting. Let's talk about why…I did not intend to harm anybody."

As for kidnapping his girlfriend, Hembree said he told her to say that.

"I told her to just tell them that I told you that you couldn't go and so we would play it that way,” he said. "She loves me, I love her, she knows that there was no kidnapping involved. She knows I didn't shoot at anybody or intend to harm anybody. I've never done that in my life."

Hembree said he was never going to hurt the woman and that he just wanted to be left alone.

Erin: “But 17 hours and you know the police are out there and you don't intend to hurt anybody?”
Hembree: "No. And we went to sleep, as I said. I mean, that shows."
Erin: “I mean, why not come out? Because you know they are going to try to get you out?”
Hembree: "But why? Why should they do that? They could have posted an officer outside that door by his-self."

Hembree also said he didn't know he had warrants out for his arrest. I called to double check on those and found a warrant for a failure to appear in court for possession of a firearm, possession of a machine gun and possession of a controlled substance out of Nebraska.

Hembree said he's innocent of the charges.

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