Community 'Shocked' OHP Trooper Involved In Fatal Shooting Back On Duty
NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma Trooper is back on the streets after a deadly Nowata County shooting in June.
The district attorney cleared Trooper Jerrod Martin of any wrongdoing after he chased Joshua Stand into the small town of Delaware. The DA’s report says Stand was holding a knife and took a step toward the trooper.
Martin remained on paid suspension for nearly two months, now people who live the town of Delaware are surprised by the news that he is back on duty.
“Quite frankly I'm shocked," said Delaware resident, Matthew Greene.
"I can't see it,” said resident Paula Swalley. “It's just an overkill."
Two months after a trooper involved shooting in Delaware, the community is still looking for answers to what happened that June morning.
A report released Friday by the Nowata County District Attorney cleared Martin of wrongdoing. The report says Martin responded when drivers spotted Stand walking along Highway 169 with a knife in his hand. Reports say Martin chased Stand down.
An autopsy shows Stand was shot nine times, three of those were in the back.
District Attorney Kevin Buchanan said in a statement, “It is undisputed and well documented that Trooper Martin repeatedly requested and/or ordered Joshua Stand to drop the knife, which he was carrying off and on throughout the encounter," and, “His use of deadly force in this circumstance was justified."
After reviewing the DA's report, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol returned Martin to active duty.
In a statement, Colonel Rick Adams said, “Having reviewed all facts and evidence surrounding this event, I've authorized the return to full-duty status of Trooper Jerrod Martin effective immediately."
The Medical Examiner's Office released its report saying Stand was high on meth.
”He was a good kid, he just had a problem," Swalley said.
She said despite the drug issues, Stand wasn't violent.
"I feel sorry for the family, they're good people and nobody deserves what they're going through," she said.
Delaware residents are still trying to heal.
When asked how the community had been since the shooting, Greene said, "Shook up to say the least. Anytime a tragedy like this happens, you know, it tends to affect everybody from top to bottom."
The DA's report says Martin and Stand had an encounter in April before the shooting. It says Martin arrested Stand on complaints of driving under the influence of drugs, being a felon in possession of a firearm and traffic offenses.