Deputies, Police Officer Shoot, Kill Man At Tulsa Convenience Store
TULSA, Oklahoma - Two deputies and a Tulsa police officer shot and killed a man in Tulsa Friday morning.
The We The People Oklahoma advocacy group identified the man as Joshua Anthony Barre. Police have not confirmed his identity, but said the man who was shot was 29.
It happened at the Super Stop convenience store at 46th Street North and MLK at about 10 a.m. He was followed there by deputies who were making their fourth attempt in 10 days to take him in for a court ordered mental evaluation.
Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley said the incident began earlier in the morning when Tulsa County deputies went to a house to serve a civil pickup order. Ashley said it was a mental health pickup order and a judge would have signed it so that officers could take the man to a mental health facility.
Ashley said the man left the house and went to the convenience store armed with two knives and that police received at least two 911 calls about him.
Police say the deputies and the officer shot the man as he tried to enter the store because there were people inside. EMSA took the man to a hospital where a doctor pronounced him dead.
Witness Shalik Williams said he counted five police cars, but police said two Tulsa County deputies and a Tulsa police officer fired the shots.
"They got out of their cars, walked up to the door and started shooting. It was quick - 10 seconds," Williams said.
He said Barre quickly went inside and came back out.
"He turned around like he was going back into the store and they started shooting," Williams said.
Barre lived about a mile from where he died.
Deputies were trying to take him in for mental health treatment after neighbors and his mother reported erratic behavior. Deputies noted he had knives and large scissors during one of their confrontations, when they backed off rather than risking violence.
On their last attempt, Wednesday, a deputy fired a Taser but missed and deputies again backed off.
Friday morning they tried again.
Officer Leland Ashley said, "He produced two knives and they follow him down to this store, and, at some point, the deputies and an officer used deadly force."
A crowd gathered at the scene just a few minutes after the shooting happened and police called for backup. By noon the crowd had grown to about 200 people. At one point members of the crowd shouted profanities at the law enforcement officers at the scene.
The Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office sent more officers to the scene, some wearing riot gear. TPD also sent at least two chaplains to the area to help calm the situation.
Police urged patience and said there could be video that would help establish what happened.
"There is potentially video from the store and possibly from the officer's vehicles," Ashley said.
Tulsa Police are handling the investigation of their own officer and the deputies firing the shots.
The American Civil Liberties Union called for independent investigation into the latest fatal shootings by Tulsa Police Department officers and Tulsa County Sheriff's Office deputies.
“We have serious doubts about the capability of Tulsa Police Department (TPD) and Tulsa County Sheriff’s (TCSO) office to investigate this morning’s killing in an unbiased and honest manner," the release states. "Even if one only considers the last last two years of disturbing conduct in both of these departments, it is absurd to ask the residents of Tulsa County to trust a system that has demonstrated a clear pattern of immoral and unethical behavior to investigate itself. That conclusion might be different if today’s killing were an isolated incident, but it is not.
"Indeed, both the TPD and TCSO have a track record of dehumanizing and killing people they are supposed to protect and serve. Equally distressing is the Tulsa Police Department’s recent history of giving its officers inappropriate and preferential treatment when investigating their use of deadly force. We call on TPD and TCSO to turn over the investigation to an independent investigative entity and to cooperate fully with that independent investigation. Failure to do so will continue to erode the already fragile trust that exists between Tulsa’s law enforcement and many of the communities they are sworn to serve.”
Tulsa Police worked the scene for several hours until they said officers had concluded their investigation around 2:30 p.m.