TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A Tulsa jury recommended the death penalty for David Ware, who shot and killed a Tulsa police officer and caused severe injuries to a second officer.

The Tulsa jury found Ware guilty last week of first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, possession of drugs with intent to distribute and obstructing an officer.

The jury recommended the death sentence on Wednesday.

It is now up to the judge to decide Ware’s fate.

David Ware
David Ware Credit: Tulsa County Detention Center

Two officers with the Tulsa Police Department pulled over a vehicle in the 8900 block of East 21st Street in June of 2020.

Investigators say the officers, Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, asked the driver, Ware, to get out of his vehicle 12 times. When he refused, a taser was deployed.

The officers were unable to subdue Ware with the taser. They then used pepper spray on the suspect.

The officers got Ware out of the vehicle, but he then pulled out a gun and opened fire.

“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.

Johnson and Zarkeshan were both shot multiple times.

The two officers were 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, continued to improve after being moved to a rehabilitation facility. He is now back with the force.

Aurash Zarkeshan
Aurash Zarkeshan

Ware pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Officials also arrested Matthew Hall, who they say was Ware’s getaway driver from the scene. Hall was found guilty of two counts of accessory to a felony and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

A jury of nine men and three women were seated for Ware‘s murder trial.