Witnesses Describe Deadly Trooper-Involved Shooting In West Tulsa

Monday, September 23rd 2013, 10:15 pm
By: News On 6

Two witnesses shared what they saw in the moments that led up to a deadly Saturday night shooting, involving an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

Trooper Bobby Raines is on administrative leave.

Chris Leverich said he was walking his dog when he saw the suspect, Tel Rodgers, get out of his truck with his hands in the air and Trooper Raines trying to detain him.

"The trooper told him, 'Stop,' several times he kept on coming," Leverich said. "The trooper slammed Tel on the Eclipse, and then Tel took the trooper and then slammed him into the car--into his trooper car."

OHP said Raines got into a foot chase with Rodgers. They ended up blocks away in the neighborhood alleyway off of West 61st Street.

"It started at 8:45 right here. The shot was at 9:18," Leverich said.

OHP said Rodgers went for Raines' gun.

9/23/2013 Related Story: OHP Identifies Man Shot, Killed By Trooper In Tulsa

Rodgers died at the scene with gunshot wounds to his head and chest.

Herbert Ward said he heard the shots and thought Raines and Rodgers were in the middle of a gun battle. Ward said he heard a pause between the two shots.

"You know when there's a delay like that it's not just a trigger pull," Ward said.

Ward and Leverich said they're conflicted about what's being told to the media and what they saw and heard Saturday night.

Leverich said he thinks there may have been another shooter, separate from the trooper.

"If a trooper is going to shoot somebody, it's not going to be, 'Bam,' wait 20 seconds, 'Hey, what's up?' and then, 'Bam,'" Leverich said.

Leverich said he wishes he could have done something, because he was so close to what happened.

"I could have saved his life by helping the trooper out, and that's something I've been struggling with since then, because there were three small kids in the truck," Leverich said.

OHP said it took possession of another handgun from a homeowner near the scene of the shooting. Troopers were told by the homeowner he walked out with his handgun and fired a shot into the ground in an attempt to stop the fighting.

We'll know how these accounts play into the investigation, when OHP releases its report.