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Officials identify knife-wielding man in officer-involved shooting

NORMAN, Okla. – Officials have identified the knife-wielding man involved in the officer-involved shooting as 44-year-old Richard Darwin Eaton.

A Norman police officer shot Eaton Wednesday along Main St. Wednesday.

He remains in critical condition.

Eaton does have a criminal past that includes three trips to prison for crimes like forgery, burglary and assault.

Police said the suspect first assaulted someone at a nearby Wendy’s.

When police found Eaton a few blocks away, he repeatedly refused to cooperate with police commands and advanced on the officer with a knife.

Police and witnesses said it appeared the officer had every right to open fire.

“We are compelled under the law to protect ourselves and other people and if we think someone is a danger, we have to do what we have to do,” Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said.

“The guy got knife and tried to attack police; that’s why the police shot,” witness Duc Dang said.

“He came toward her and she told him to get on the ground, he ignored her,” witness Jerry Copeland said. “She was justified in what she did, there’s no doubt about it.” 

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The officer was not hurt in the incident.