Relative Of Green Country Man Killed By Trooper Says He Was Getting His Life Together

Sunday, September 22nd 2013, 9:04 pm
By: News On 6

The family of a man shot dead on Saturday by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is speaking out about his death.

The man was killed when a trooper shot him after a reported struggle over the trooper's gun.

This is now the second trooper-involved shooting in Green Country in less than a month.

9/22/2013 Related Story: Man Shot Dead In West Tulsa During Struggle With Trooper

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is not releasing the name of the victim or the trooper involved in the shooting. It is expected to be released on Monday.

The family identified Tel Rodgers, 33, as the man killed.

Rodgers "loved his kids he takes them to the lake and goes fishing and noodling... just family oriented," family member Brent Simmons said.

Simmons said Rodgers was the father of three kids and was trying to get his life back together after serving time in prison.

"He was getting his life together, doing good, you know, going to work every day doing for his kids just a good guy man," Simmons said. "He was a strong, strong guy, strong-willed person. He was that strong, he was just a real good guy."

Prison records show Rodgers was released on a suspended sentence in January for drug possession and he previously served time for arson and DUI.

OHP said a trooper tried to stop a Rodgers for a traffic violation just before 10 p.m. on Saturday, but Rodgers jumped out of the car and started running through a neighborhood.

Troopers said a foot chase started and ended up in a west Tulsa alleyway. After the trooper tried to place Rodgers under arrest, Rodgers went for the trooper's gun, OHP said.

The trooper fired twice, hitting Rodgers in the head and chest, according to OHP.

"He's not the kind of guy that would try for the cop's gun," Simmons said.

Simmons said he and other family members are waiting for more answers.

"It sounded fishy," Simmons said. "Man, why would the cop shoot him in the head? That don't make sense."

The trooper involved in Saturday night's shooting has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

9/22/2013 Related Story: OHP Identifies Trooper, Man Involved In Deadly Tulsa Shooting

Troopers are also in the middle of another trooper-involved shooting investigation.

Earlier this month, trooper Sheldon Robinson was off-duty at a motel near Admiral and Sheridan when troopers said he shot and killed Michael Swatosh after feeling threatened.