Judge rules that video from shooting of Tulsa officers will be released

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A district judge has ruled that body camera footage showing two Tulsa police officers being shot can be released to the public.

Around 3:30 a.m. on June 29, two officers with the Tulsa Police Department pulled over a vehicle in the 8900 block of East 21st Street.

Investigators say the officers asked the driver, David Ware, to get out of his vehicle 12 times. When he refused, a taser was deployed.

When that didn’t work, officials say the officers attempted to spray Ware with pepper spray.

When Ware was out of the vehicle, authorities say Ware pulled out a gun and started firing at the officers.

“The bullets found their mark, struck the officers, and the officers were critically injured. The officers went down and the driver slowly walked away from the vehicle and got into a waiting vehicle that had arrived to the scene and drove away,” said Chief Wendell Franklin, with the Tulsa Police Department.

Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan were both shot multiple times and rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan
Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan

Sadly, officials with the Tulsa Police Department announced that Johnson passed away from his injuries the next day.

“Yesterday, he sustained multiple gunshot wounds, one of which was critical. He underwent surgery. Doctors and nurses attempted and tried everything that they could to save his life. Today, Sgt. Craig Johnson passed away,” said Chief Franklin.

Zarkeshan, who is a rookie with the department, continues to improve after being moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Aurash Zarkeshan
Aurash Zarkeshan

Ware is facing several charges, including murder in the first degree and shooting with intent to kill. He has pleaded not guilty.

During a July court appearance, Ware’s attorney filed a motion asking that body camera and dash camera footage of the traffic stop be released. 

Ware’s attorney argued that the footage doesn’t match the narrative in the police reports.

However, a judge initially denied that motion.

On Thursday, a district judge ruled that the video should be released to the public, but that the Tulsa Police Department can redact part of the video.

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