POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. – The video that shows a fatal deputy-involved shooting in Pottawatomie County was released this week after the local district attorney determined the shooting was justified.
Just before 7 p.m. on January 6th, someone called 911 about a man who was attacking family members inside a Pottawatomie County home.
About a quarter mile from the home, a deputy saw a man walking down the road matching the description of the suspect.
State authorities say the man was carrying a baseball bat.
Officials say the deputy made contact with the man, identified as 39-year-old Jonathan William LeRoy.
During that contact, the man reportedly began swinging the bat.
The deputy then fired his weapon.
The man was transported to a Shawnee hospital where he died.
After reviewing the evidence, District Attorney Richard Smothermon ruled the use of deadly force by the deputy justifiable, the Shawnee News-Star reports.
“Deputy Caskey activated the emergency lights on his vehicle, activated his body-worn camera, stepped out of his vehicle and drew his service weapon in order to detain the suspect for the felony domestic abuse by strangulation,” Smothermon states in the clearance letter. “Jonathan Leroy was approximately 40-45 feet in front of Deputy Caskey’s unit. Deputy Caskey immediately began giving commands to stop and drop the bat. Jonathan Leroy immediately became aggressive and screamed ‘you want me, come on.’ Deputy Caskey retreated to create distance between himself and the suspect.”
Video obtained by the Shawnee News-Star shows LeRoy refused to obey the officer’s commands to drop the bat.
“Jonathan Leroy raised the bat, swinging it up and down and called the Deputy a ‘fat f—— pig’ and told Deputy Caskey to shoot him. Deputy Caskey continuously gave verbal commands to stop and drop the bat and continued to step back away from the suspect until he was unable to back any further without stepping into the bar ditch,” the letter continues.
“Deputy Caskey advised that when the suspect got past the front of the flashing lights of the police unit, he became difficult to see as he was in the dark with the flashing lights behind him. The suspect continued to come towards the deputy until he was approximately 6 to 8 feet from the officer. Deputy Caskey fired one round, striking the suspect in the abdomen. When the suspect fell to the ground, he still had the bat in his grip. Another officer arrived and first aid, including a blood clotting kit, was administered,” the letter further reads.
“Based on this evidence, it is the opinion of this office that the use of deadly force on January 6, 2018, by Deputy James Caskey, was justifiable under the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Oklahoma,” the letter reads.