Man accused of killing Oklahoma officer has new trial date

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A man accused of killing an Oklahoma police officer and wounding another has a new trial date.

Around 3:30 a.m. on June 29, 2020, 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, continued to improve after being moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Aurash Zarkeshan
Aurash Zarkeshan

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

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.

Ware’s trial was supposed to start in June but it has now been set for April 4, 2022.

The delay was to allow Ware’s attorneys more time to prepare a defense.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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