Neighbors And Family React To Okmulgee Man's Death
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is helping investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting in Okmulgee. Muddy tire tracks and a torn down fence were all that's left of the crime scene, but the investigation is far from over.
Investigators want to know who fired shots and how it led to the death of an Okmulgee father. There were deadly consequences for James Stutchman after a routine traffic stop turned into a police chase.
Thursday night, Stutchman was remembered with a vigil in the same place, where investigators said he was shot and killed.
"They didn't have to shoot him that many times. They could've shot him once in the leg and they could've, they didn't have to shoot him at all," Amanda Morrow, Stutchman's sister said.
Morrow said officers were not justified in shooting her brother. She said he had trouble with the law and had several warrants out for his arrest, which is likely why he ran from police when they tried to pull him over around 2 a.m.
Investigators said Stutchman sped off, only stopping when he hit a fence at the Turning Leaf Apartments. OSBI said Stutchman then got out of his Yukon SUV, with a gun in hand, and from there shots rang out.
Resident, Shalake Gaines said, "A couple of shots went off and then a couple of more shots went off. It looked like Christmas out here, man. It looked like you see red and blue everywhere. You couldn't miss it. You couldn't miss it. There were so many polices out here, man. It's crazy."
Stutchman died, and the mother of his children posted on Facebook, "I can't believe the father of my children is gone. I'm hurting so bad right now."
People in the area said it's a blessing no one else was injured.
"It's unfortunate that this is what came to our doorstep and we pray it doesn't happen again," said landlord Connie Clevenger.
"I wish he would've stopped whenever they were stopping him ahead of time. I wish he would've just stopped then, but he didn't, so, this is how it ended up happening," Morrow said. "I mean, I really don't know what to do, I mean, I don't know. It's crazy,"
OSBI said several officers fired shots. They are investigating to learn exactly who and how many officers fired their weapons.