MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Two Midwest City Police Department officers are back on duty after shooting an armed suspect in August.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater cleared the two officers, Sgt. Mize and Sgt. Netherton, in the shooting that occurred on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in the 200 block of North Air Depot.
Police were called to the scene regarding a suspect firing a long gun while walking down streets.
Officers arrived in the area of North Meadow Lane and Air Depot Boulevard and allegedly saw the suspect, Taylor Devon Slaughter, firing the long gun into the air multiple times.
The officers ordered Slaughter multiple times to drop the gun, which was later confirmed to be a magazine-fed, assault style, 12 gauge shotgun.
“He completely ignored the commands, hardly acknowledging the officers or anyone else around him,” Prater said in a memo sent to Interim Police Chief Sid Porter.
The officers, however, did not yet use deadly force.
“Your officers employed tactics that allowed them to surveil Slaughter to assure public and officer safety,” Prater said in the memo. “Appropriately, your officers restrained from using deadly force at this time, because Slaughter was not an imminent threat to any other person at this point in the incident.”
Slaughter allegedly continued walking the neighborhood, shooting the shotgun into the air. He then dropped the shotgun onto the road and pulled a pistol from his waistband.
Embry used his stun gun on Slaughter, but the stun was ineffective, according to Prater’s memo.
Slaughter walked past several businesses and through parking lots, randomly firing his pistol into the air and into the ground. The officers maintained contact with Slaughter, “close enough to take immediate action in the event he became an imminent threat to citizens or your officers,” Prater said.
The suspect walked toward the entrance of a Valero gas station as Mize followed him.
“Realizing that Slaughter could turn the matter into a hostage situation if he was allowed to enter the Valero business, Mize made the reasonable and prudent decision to shoot Slaughter to neutralize the imminent threat that Slaughter now posed to innocent citizens,” Prater said.
Mize used his scope rifle to fire one round into Slaughter’s right thigh.
The suspect fell to the ground, dropping his pistol.
Netherton attempted to take Slaughter into custody, but Slaughter allegedly quickly rolled to his right and attempted to grab his pistol.
“Netherton fired his service pistol at Slaughter to defend himself, other officers and the public from being shot by Slaughter,” Prater said. “Netherton’s rounds struck Slaughter.”
Slaughter suffered life-threatening injuries to his chest and right thigh, according to Prater.
Officers immediately gave Slaughter emergency medical care.
“It seems apparent that the medical treatment delivered to Slaughter by your officers saved his life,” Prater said.
Mize and Netherton demonstrated “sound judgement and tactics,” Prater said in the memo.
“The manner in which your officers handled this very dangerous incident mitigated the danger to our innocent citizens, to themselves and to their fellow officers,” Prater said. “They showed the type of deliberation and restrain that should be an example to other agencies. Because of your department’s training and your officers’ actions, no human life was lost in this incident.”
The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office will file formal charges against Slaughter, including endeavoring to commit an act of violence.