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Tulsa reserve deputy fatally shoots man he intended to tase

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TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa County Sheriff’s office says a reserve deputy fatally shot a man he intended to tase.

They say 73-year-old Robert Bates accidentally grabbed his gun instead of his taser as he tried to help subdue a suspect black market gun dealer.

Instead of tasing the suspect, he shot him.

Eric Courtney Harris

Eric Courtney Harris

CNN reports that the incident happened after a sting operation Thursday.

44-year-old Eric Harris allegedly sold a semi-automatic pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to an undercover officer, the Sheriff’s office says.

When they tried to arrest him, authorities say he resisted and ran. A struggle ensued and deputies were afraid he might have a weapon.

That’s when they say Bates tried to subdue the man with his taser, but accidentally pulled his pistol.

According to a Tulsa County Sheriff’s press release about the incident, Harris allegedly told medical personnel that he was high on PCP at the time.

They’re classifying this as a ‘tragic event.’

Bates was named Reserve Deputy of the Year in 2011, according to the Sheriff’s Office website.

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