MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater says a Midwest City police officer was justified in firing at an armed suspect.

Officer Jeff McNeil returned to duty at the Midwest City Police Department on May 12, according to Midwest City Police Department officials.

Prater cleared McNeil in the May 1 officer-involved shooting in the area of Regional Park, 8500 E. Reno Blvd.

Photo goes with story
Ronnie Norwood

Officers were called to the area regarding a male suspect pointing a gun at people in the park. They arrived and found a group of people fighting.

McNeil saw the suspect – later identified as 19-year-old Ronnie Lee Norwood – pointing a gun toward a crowd of people, described by Prater as five males.

The officer yelled at Norwood, but Norwood did not put down the gun, instead firing it at the crowd, police officials said.

McNeil fired his weapon at Norwood. The suspect ran away with his gun still in his hand. He eventually dropped the gun and surrendered.

Prater issued the following memo to Midwest City Police Chief Sid Porter regarding McNeil’s actions:

“I have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the above-noted officer-involved shooting. The shooting occurred on May 1, 2022 at approximately 2005 hrs. The shooting occurred at 8500 E. Reno, Midwest City, in the park. Your officer involved in the shooting is Sgt. Jeff McNeil. The suspect is Ronnie Lee Norwood, DOB: 09-10-2002. For further specific details please refer to the investigative case book.

After reviewing the available evidence in the case book, I have determined that Sgt. Jeff McNeil’s use of deadly force was justified and authorized by Oklahoma state and federal statutes. McNeil observed Ronnie Norwood shooting directly at approximately five males who were standing in the park, to the right of Sgt. McNeil. McNeil had a reasonable belief that Norwood posed an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death to the five males who Norwood was shooting at, or any other person in the park in his line of fire. When Norwood refused to drop his weapon after McNeil’s verbal commands to do so, McNeil exercised deadly force to defend those who Norwood was shooting at………..

When Sgt. McNeil shot at Norwood, Norwood turned and ran. McNeil pursued him on foot and apprehended Norwood near the scene of the

shooting with the assistance of other Midwest City police officers. Just before being captured, Norwood threw the gun down. Norwood was taken into custody without any further incident. Norwood was NOT struck by McNeil’s gunfire. Norwood was charged with multiple felonies.

Sgt. McNeil’s actions were justified and necessary to defend unarmed individuals from Norwood’s attempts on their lives. Sgt. McNeil is cleared for duty as you see fit.”

DAVID PRATER, OKLAHOMA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

The District Attorney’s Office will file formal assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and obstructing an officer charges against Norwood.

“Due to the imminent danger to those in the park and Mr. Norwoods refusal to drop his weapon, the officer’s actions likely prevented other citizens or officers from being harmed or killed. This was a highly stressful and violent situation involving an active shooter. Sgt. McNeil is to be commended for his actions,” a Police Department news release states.