Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Releases Video Of Deputy-Involved Shooting

Saturday, April 11th 2015, 2:05 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has released video in a deadly mix-up caught on camera. Deputy Bob Bates shot Eric Harris when he ran from deputies after an undercover gun deal.

The sheriff's office says it's an accident.

Deputies say Bates had a taser, a pepper ball gun and a gun with him during the deal.

In video released Saturday, you see Harris run in Bates's direction. That's when deputies say Bates went to grab the pepper ball gun and taser, but grabbed his gun, by mistake.

Eric Harris, an ex-con, was suspected of selling illegal guns. Deputies say they bought meth from him a couple days before.

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He handed a 9 millimeter to an undercover deputy.

Harris started to get suspicious and ran. The shooting happened in just four seconds.

Deputy Bob Bates runs towards Harris, yelling, "Taser, taser." Two seconds later, Bates fires one shot.

The next second, he reacts.

"Oh, I shot him. I'm sorry," Bates said.

Bates's gun drops to the ground.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says that's because Bates thought he pulled his taser -- he wasn't expecting the weapon in his hand to recoil.

"Deputy Bates did not commit a crime. Reserve Deputy Bates was a victim, a true victim, of slips and capture," said Sergeant Jim Clark.

Slips and capture has happened to officers, of almost all ages, in other parts of the country. The Sheriff's Office says Bates meant to grab his taser, but instead went for his gun.

The Harris family asked to see this video the day before its release. Bates's attorney offered to show the family the video -- but he says the family refused -- saying it's too difficult to watch.

Harris's son, Aidan Fraley, is remembering his dad as he knew him.

"Sweet, nice, forgiving, thoughtful. He would do anything for anybody," Aidan Fraley said.

4/9/2015 Related Story: Family Of Man Fatally Shot By Tulsa Reserve Deputy Wants Video Released

The sheriff's office remembers Harris as a dangerous man. Harris was not armed as he ran, but Bates didn't know that.

There have been questions about Bates's training.

A record of all of his training shows 276 hours in his seven years of being a reserve deputy. It includes use of force, dealing with stress, taser training and hours of lethal weapons training.

Bates could be charged for Harris's death.