TECUMSEH, Okla. – Authorities said the police officer who was shot overnight in Tecumseh has passed away.
“My department is not doing good,” said J.R. Kidney, Assistant Chief of Tecumseh Police. “I’ve been here about 22 years, and this is our first officer-involved shooting. We haven’t had to live through this yet.”
A community and police department are trying to move forward after losing 22-year-old Justin Terney.
Terney was a rookie with the Tecumseh Police Department, and it was his first year on the force.
“A lot of fellow officers and people in Tecumseh were doing a blood drive. He was losing a lot of blood, so we knew that we needed that. But, unfortunately, they were not able to get some of the bleeding to stop,” Kidney said.
Police said around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Terney attempted to pull over a vehicle near Benson Park and Gordon Cooper.
The passenger of the vehicle jumped out of the car and ran from Terney, who pursued him on foot.
Terney was able to tase the suspect, but police said the suspect was unaffected by the taser.
At that point, officers said the suspect, who was identified as 36-year-old Byron James Shepard, allegedly shot Terney three times.
Terney returned fire, striking Shepard approximately four times.
The officer and the suspect were both transported to a local hospital, where Terney underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition.
However, police confirmed the officer succumbed to his injuries and passed away around 9 a.m.
“We’ve got a lot of support from the Shawnee Police Department, Oklahoma City Police Department. Their chaplains have reached out to us. The OU staff has been remarkable to work with. Just an outpouring of people coming in to help us,” Kidney said.
As they say goodbye to Terney, officials with Tecumseh police said it’s that support that will help get them through this tough time.
“We really appreciate that. We need everyone to rally around us and support us. We’ve got guys going through some stuff that they’ve never been through before,” Kidney said.
Shepard also underwent surgery and remains in the ICU.
He was last listed in critical condition.
A woman who was driving the car that Shepard was in is now in custody.
This is Tecumseh’s first officer-involved shooting, police said during a news conference Monday.
News of Terney’s death quickly spread.
Senator James Lankford released the following statement after hearing of the officer’s death:
“I’m deeply saddened to hear the news of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney who passed away this morning. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who put on the uniform every day and risk their lives to ensure the safety of our communities, and Officer Terney gave the ultimate sacrifice.
I pray that God will provide comfort and peace to Officer Terney’s family as they grieve his loss, and know that all of Oklahoma is grieving with them.”
Congressman Steve Russell released the following statement:
“We are all saddened by the fatal shooting of Officer Justin Terney. Terney was determined to protect the public with bravery and dedication–a reminder to us all of the work our law enforcement does every day. We pray for his family and the Tecumseh community.”
A memorial fund has been set up for Terney’s family. Donations may be made at any BancFirst location under the “Officer Justin Terney Memorial Fund.”