Body camera footage released after Village officer charged in deadly shooting

Local

THE VILLAGE, Okla. (KFOR) — KFOR has obtained body camera footage showing a The Village Police Department officer fatally shooting a man while responding to a domestic call back in July. The officer has now been charged with First Degree manslaughter. 

Chance Avery, a corporal with The Village Police Department, shot Christopher Poor, 49, three times July 25, according to court records.

Avery was at the home at the request of Poor’s wife, who was picking up some personal belongings, when Poor ran from the garage into the living room clutching the bat, police said.

“While verbally engaged with Mr. Poor, Avery discharged his firearm, striking Mr. Poor three times, causing his death,” a deputy sheriff wrote in a probable cause affidavit. “This level of force utilized by Chance Avery exceeded the level of force appropriate for the victim’s actions during this encounter.”

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed the charge against Avery on Friday.

Deputy Chief Russ Landon said Avery remains on paid administrative leave.

On Monday, News 4 received a copy of the body camera footage, showing the shooting. 

“He’s just so mean,” Melissa Poor is heard saying when Avery entered the home. 

“Where’s the goddamn police?” Christopher Poor is heard asking, while seen holding a baseball bat. 

“Put the bat down right now,” Avery said. 

“I will now that you’re here,” Poor responds. 

“Headquarters, throw me another unit,” Avery said. “Put the bat down now.” 

“Putting it down. I just asked…” Poor replied.  

“Set it down!” Avery yelled. 

“You put your M**** in my face,” Poor yelled at Avery. 

You then see Avery fire three shots, hitting Poor in the chest. Poor then hits the ground. 

At no point in the video, do you see Poor raise the bat or attempt to swing it at the officer. 

Avery’s attorney, Gary James, told News 4 on Monday that Avery had every right to use deadly force because Poor ignored multiple commands to drop the bat and continued to approach Avery.

He released this statement: 

“Today, the Oklahoma County District Attorneys Office released the body worn camera of Corporal Chance Avery surrounding the officer involved shooting on July 25, 2020 in the City of The Village.

The body worn camera video reflects that Mr. Poor made the decision to advance on Corporal Avery and Melissa Poor while armed with a metal baseball bat. Mr. Poor was given multiple commands to drop the baseball bat. He did not comply. Instead, he angrily confronted Corporal Avery and demanded that Corporal Avery drop his service weapon.

Mr. Poor then advanced towards Corporal Avery, while moving the baseball bat from his left hand to his right hand. He then begins moving the barrel of the bat upwards. When Mr. Poor was within 6 feet of Corporal Avery and Melissa Poor, Corporal Avery discharged his weapon in defense of his life and Melissa Poor’s life.

The defense will be releasing a PowerPoint presentation reflecting key evidence gathered in a frame by frame analysis of this video. It is still being finalized. We have attached Frame # 1631 of the video. This Frame shows the baseball bat in the right hand of Mr. Poor as he advances on Corporal Avery. You can see the barrel of the bat is beginning to move upward at the time Corporal Avery makes the decision to shoot.” 

The Village PD released the following statement on Monday as well: 

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