Oklahoma ex-deputy says he feels ‘very bad’ about killing unarmed man

TULSA, Okla. – A white former Oklahoma volunteer deputy has spoken publicly for the first time about his fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa.

Robert Bates told KTUL-TV in an interview aired Thursday he feels “very bad” about the 2015 shooting that killed Eric Harris and said he’s sorry for Harris’ family, adding it also disrupted his own life.

Bates was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison for shooting Harris during an illegal gun sales sting.

Bates said he mistakenly pulled his handgun rather than his stun gun. He served less than half his sentence before being paroled.

Bates was seen earlier this year allegedly drinking alcohol, which would have violated his parole terms. But, an Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman, Matt Elliott, said an investigation found no evidence Bates was drinking.