Warning: This story contains a video of a man being shot and killed.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City police shot and killed a homeless man who was running while allegedly holding a knife, and community members have gathered to protest what they believe was an unnecessary use of lethal force.
Police were called to Extra Cash Gold & Loan, 2111 W. Hefner Road, shortly after noon on Friday in response to a disturbance.
An Oklahoma City Police Department official told KFOR that the business’ owner did not want the homeless man on the sidewalk near the business.
Officials said that police arrived, found that he had a knife and then called for backup.
The homeless man’s relatives identified him as Bennie Edwards, a black man whose age was not provided. They said he suffered from bipolar schizophrenia.
When three officers were on scene, they approached Edwards.
Officials said that the three officers attempted to use non-lethal methods to subdue him, including a stun gun and pepper spray, but neither worked.
Officers allege that he ran at them while carrying a knife. Two of the three officers opened fire, killing him.
A witness recorded video of the shooting. KFOR received permission to air it. The video shows the man running frantically as officers open fire.
Edwards’ relatives and other community members have gathered at the location to protest the deadly shooting.
Protesters who have seen the above video said police could have done more to subdue Edwards instead of resorting to lethal force.
The shooting is under investigation. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
Oklahoma City police released the following statement shortly before 4 p.m. regarding the officer-involved shooting:
“Officers responded to a call of a disturbance in the 2100 block of W Hefner Rd. around noon today in reference to a man bothering customers outside a store. Upon arrival officers located a man matching the description who was holding a knife. They attempted to deescalate the situation in an effort to get the suspect to drop the knife. Officers deployed a taser and OC Spray, both of which were ineffective. The suspect refused to drop the knife and ran toward officers at which time officers discharged their firearms and shot the suspect. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. One officer sustained a minor injury, but is expected to be okay. Per our policy, the officers will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”OKLAHOMA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
KFOR will bring you further information about this deadly shooting and the community’s reaction to it later this evening.
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