Investigators: Suspect involved in officer-involved shooting, identified

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UPDATED 7/6/2014

Cleveland County Sheriff’s investigators say 27-year-old Nicholas Popplewell was killed during this officer-involved shooting.

NORMAN, Okla. – A routine traffic stop in Norman ended with gunfire Saturday morning.

Officials say two Cleveland County Sheriff’s deputies were forced to gun down a man that tried to get away in their police cruisers.

Neighbors say what happened this morning was loud. When they came outside the last thing they expected to see were a swarm of police cars and shell casings on the ground.

Several bullets left their mark this morning as the deputy had to open fire on his own car.

A neighbor who did not want to go on camera says, “This is Norman. This is the strangest, this isn’t supposed to happen in Norman.”

She says it all happened before she was even awake.

What she heard sent her outside to check out what was going on.

“I heard a commotion. Originally I thought it was the lawn crew and then it turns out it was this,” she says. “I’m not sure what woke me up if it was the wreck or gun shots. As I was coming around the corner I saw them with someone on a stretcher.”

That someone was one of two men driving this black SUV.

Officials say the two sheriff’s deputies and their trained k-9 were just trying to address a traffic violation, but when the dog sniffed drugs things escalated quickly.

Meghan McCormick with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office says, “The dog was alerted to the presence of narcotics and that is when both of the men tried to fight our deputies.”

That fight gave one of the men the opportunity to get away. He hopped in the cruiser and took off.

“He was in the car trying to drive towards both the deputies to run them over,” says McCormick. “One of our deputies pulled his gun and opened fire.”

Sending bullets into the driver’s side window and killing the man inside.

Although neighbors were surprised to see something like this happen in Norman, officials say this is the kind of thing these deputies are prepared for. Unfortunately this morning’s ending was tragic.

McCormick says, “Law enforcement officers across this country face this type of danger every day and this is what can happen.”

Officials tell me they did find the drugs the dog smelled as well as several weapons.

The two deputies are now on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.


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