Statement Given By Tulsa Reserve Deputy After Fatal Shooting Released

Wednesday, April 15th 2015, 11:44 pm
By: News On 6

The statement given of the Tulsa County reserve deputy involved in a fatal shooting has been released.

Bob Bates was charged with manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris. Bates, 73, shot and killed Harris during an undercover gun deal April 2, 2015.

Harris became suspicious of an undercover deputy sitting next to him and took off. After a quick chase and takedown, Bates shot Harris, then apologized.

Bates turned himself in at the Tulsa County Jail Tuesday morning after the charges were filed; he bonded out that same day.

4/14/2015 Related Story: Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Charged With Manslaughter Bonds Out Of Jail

In the seven-page statement, Bates recounts the events that led up to the shooting and the shooting itself.

Read The Full Statement Given By Reserve Deputy Bob Bates

“As I got closer, it appeared Harris, who was now on the pavement, he pulled his arms underneath him away from the grasp of the deputies fighting with him. It appeared his left hand was near his waist area, but Harris was still trying to get up to his feet,” Bates said in the statement.

Bates said in the statement, he thought he had pulled a stun gun, rather than his firearm when he shot Harris.

“It appeared to me that there was a very brief opening which would allow me to tase the suspect on the back near his right shoulder. I then decided to utilize my Taser and remembered thinking I have to deploy it rapidly, as I still thought there was a strong possibility Harris had a gun. I then drew what I though was my Taser and announced ‘Taser! Taser!'…

…I pointed at his right upper back/shoulder area and deployed. I suddenly felt a strong recoil which was totally unexpected and startled me and caused my right hand to loose its grip. I then realized what had happened and immediately uttered ‘I shot him! I am sorry!'”

Bates' attorney Clark Brewster called the shooting a tragic mistake. Harris's family said it's inexcusable.

4/14/2015 Related Story: Harris Family Releases Statement After Tulsa Reserve Deputy Bonds Out