Restored Video Backs Up Officer In Fatal Shooting, Sand Springs Police Say

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015, 6:10 pm
By: News On 6

New video from the body camera of a Sand Springs police officer shows why he was forced to shoot and kill a mentally ill man.

Sand Springs Police didn't release the video initially, because they said the file was corrupt, but a computer forensic expert was able to restore it.

The department said the video backs up the officer's story of how the shooting unfolded.

4/13/2015 Related Story: Sand Springs Police Release Video Of Fatal Shooting

From the beginning, the officer said he was forced to shoot 66-year-old Donald Allen, who he said charged at him with a gun.

Video shows Allen walked more than 20 feet from his front door to the officer, who was standing behind the garage.

"By this video, it clearly shows he made a good decision, the decision he had to make, but don't ever confuse that with it being a decision we want to make," Deputy Chief Mike Carter said.

Allen's wife told police her husband was a paranoid schizophrenic and hadn't taken his medicine in over a year.

Julie Summers with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma said medicine is key to controlling a schizophrenic's behavior.

"Medication is what helps stabilize the brain chemistry and makes it possible for them to function," she said.

Police first went to Allen's home after multiple 911 calls about Allen firing shots in his back yard. His wife told police he had recently bought the gun.

"We do have protections to keep guns out of the hands with serious mental illnesses, but sometimes things fall through the cracks and it happens," Summers said.

Even though there's no way to really know what was going through Allen's mind at the time, officers with mental health training anticipate the worst.

"A lot of times when people are in a mental health crisis, they are very frustrated,” Sand Springs detective, Matthew Lemmon said. “If they are hearing voices or seeing things we don't hear, or seeing things we don't see, I try to be that outlet to get them to calm down and hopefully everything works out as safe as possible."

Lemmon was on his way to Allen's home, along with the rest of the SWAT team, when the fatal shots were fired.

The medical examiner said two shots killed Allen, the shot to his chest and also his stomach.

Police said Allen's wife has been very understanding and knows the officers didn't have any other option.