OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Officials say one person is dead following a police chase in Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon.
Officers with the Oklahoma City Police Department said they attempted to pull over a truck around N.W. 63rd and MacArthur because they suspected it was stolen, but said the driver refused to stop.
As the chase headed toward downtown Oklahoma City, authorities say they had to act quickly in order to protect the public.
“It was headed toward the MLK parade that was going on. We simply cannot allow a car to plow through a parade. So at that point, the decision was made to end the pursuit right there because there was simply going to be too great of risk for loss of life,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Knight said the department deployed their Air 1 Helicopter and a tactical unit that was already stationed nearby.
Officers were able to perform a tactical maneuver, which caused the truck to roll several times, before coming to rest in the median near Oklahoma City Boulevard and S. Walker Avenue.
“We engaged in a tactical vehicle intervention, a TVI. The car rolled and came to a rest as you can see behind me. Members of our tactical unit were downtown, quickly responded to the scene and found the driver deceased,” Knight said.
Damon Harper said he was in the area to enjoy the MLK celebration with his family but was shocked as he watched the truck and the body of the driver being hauled away.
“I’m lost for words right now,” he told KFOR.
On Tuesday, officials confirmed that the suspect likely died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Authorities said it will be up to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause.