5 Oklahoma City police officers charged with first-degree manslaughter in shooting death of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Five officers who shot and killed a 15-year-old armed robbery suspect are now facing first-degree manslaughter charges, according to officials with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

On Wednesday, KFOR obtained body camera footage and security footage from an officer-involved shooting that happened back in November when OKCPD officers were responding to an armed robbery call near Western and I-240 at the Okie Gas Express.

“Get on the ground,” officers are heard yelling on body camera video.

“Don’t do that. Get on the ground,” an officer yelled.

“Drop it,” another officer is heard yelling.

In the surveillance video, 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez is seen climbing out of the drive-thru window holding a gun.

The video then shows Rodriguez drop the gun and then reach toward his pants before being fatally shot by five officers.

Rodriguez was shot 13 times, according to the autopsy report that KFOR obtained on Wednesday.

The five officers, Jared Barton, Corey Adams, John Skuta, Bethany Sears and Brad Pemberton are all now facing a first-degree manslaughter charge.

A sixth officer, Sarah Carli, who fired a less lethal weapon, was not charged.

Rodriguez’s family and attorneys have been pressing the OKCPD for a copy of the body camera video for months.

image of stavian rodriguez
Stavian Rodriguez

While police said Stavian refused to comply with their commands, making suspicious hand movements, eye-witnesses told KFOR that he appeared to be pulling up his pants after he dropped the gun.

No other weapons were found on his person.

According to the court documents, after dropping the gun, Stavian “put his left hand in his rear left pocket and his right hand in his front pocket or waistline.” 

That’s when Officer Sarah Carli allegedly fired a less lethal round, and the other five “all unnecessarily fire lethal rounds.” 

The documents allege Stavian had no other weapons other than the firearm. 

The documents also read, “A cell phone was recovered from the left rear pocket he had his hand in at the time he was shot.”

On Wednesday the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement:

“Officers must make life and death decisions in a split second, relying on their training. When an armed robbery suspect did not obey police commands, five officers perceived the same threat and simultaneously fired their weapons.

A loss of life is always a tragedy and we know these officers did not take firing their weapons lightly. The OKC FOP stands by these officers and maintains they acted within the law.”

OKLAHOMA CITY FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE

The five officers are currently on paid administrative leave.

Back in December, Rodriguez’s accomplice, 17-year-old Wyatt Cheatham, was also charged with murder, because he was a party in a crime that resulted in death, according to investigators.

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