Tulsa Family Caught In Line Of Fire In Police Standoff

Monday, August 17th 2015, 6:41 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa family was in the line of fire when police got into a shootout Sunday with a domestic violence suspect. Now the family has questions about what happened and said it’s a wonder no innocent bystanders were hurt.

Police were in the neighborhood near Pine and Sheridan to issue an arrested warrant on Jeremie Kelly, but before he was taken into custody, they said he shot a police and hit Corporal Gene Watkins in the leg.

That’s when police say they fired back, and inadvertently left a lasting mark on the Haley family home, according to Don David.

“I believe it’s this round that had went up into the laundry room; this round is still in the refrigerator,” he said.

The house has been in the Haley family for over 50 years, but this is the first time they've had four bullet holes.

It all started Sunday afternoon when police went to serve a warrant on a domestic violence suspect. It ended in a standoff with police cars lining the streets near Pine and Sheridan, the police helicopter in the air.

Authorities went to arrest Jeremie Kelly, but before that could happen, they say he started shooting at them. They returned fire as Kelly ran away.

8/16/2015 Related Story: Suspect In TPD Officer Shooting Dies From Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

"He pretty much had his back to the police officers and was fleeing when they open fire; unfortunately it was right beside my aunt and grandmother when they started firing at Jeremie," said David.

David said he isn't criticizing the police but wonders what the public safety policy is when returning fire in a neighborhood.

"I didn't believe at that moment police were in immediate danger," said Tulsa resident Don David. "You know, and I understand if he was standing still shooting at them and they were shooting back and getting in the crossfire, but because he was trying to flee if their efforts would have been to catch him rather as opposed to shooting," he said.

"There's nothing ever routine about our job. Every day is different, every call is different, and we saw that yesterday," said Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley.

He said it's unfortunate, but he is happy no one inside was hurt. However, when seconds count, police officers have a tough job to do.

"He's shooting at an officer. Do we know at that point does he turn around and start shooting again? We don't know. At that point, we are trying to stop a threat. This individual very well could have went to someone's house, kicked in a door, carjacked someone and now we're looking at a situation that, potentially, could turn deadly," Ashely said.

The suspect ultimately shot himself and he died from the injury.

The officer who was shot was released from the hospital Monday.

The family said even with the scare, with so much history at their home, it won't run them away.