BA Officer Shoots Driver After Chase

Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 4:12 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Broken Arrow police officer is home Wednesday night recovering from a brush with death.

Two suspects are hospitalized. Investigators say the officer fired on the suspects, after he was nearly run over by an SUV.

At first glance the scene might look like an unfortunate traffic accident involving a collision between a Jeep and a police motorcycle.

But it was not just a crash scene, and it was one that affected one of Broken Arrow Police's own.

"It's something you take kind of personal, like you guys would if it was a member of the media," Maj. Carole Newell told reporters.

The incident started on the Broken Arrow Expressway near the Aspen exit about 1:30 p.m.

Police say Officer Chris Chambers was on his motorcycle when he tried to pull a white Jeep over for heading the wrong way down the highway exit ramp.

Investigators say they don't know what caused the driver of the Jeep to take off, although the car was stolen and so were the plates.

Police say Chambers chased the runaway Jeep into Tulsa to 51st Street just east of 145th East Avenue, where the Jeep finally stopped.

Investigators say when Chambers tried to approach the car, the Jeep's driver threw it in reverse, hitting Chambers and pushing both him and his motorcycle into the ditch.   

"The officer then shot at the vehicle, because they put it in gear again, and he wasn't sure if they were coming back after him," Newell said.

Chambers hit the driver in the back, causing him to crash the car, which injured the passenger of the SUV. The two occupants were taken to local hospitals in unknown condition.

The passenger, 25-year-old Kelly Renfro, was released from St. Francis Hospital about 8 p.m. and booked into jail on several previous charges, including assault and battery on an officer, obstructing an officer and drug possession. His bond was set at $21,620.

Chambers, a traffic cop for eight years, injured his right leg but was released from the hospital.

Police say they found a gun in the Jeep.

Because the incident ended in Tulsa, it is being investigated by the Tulsa Police Department.