OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials with the Oklahoma City Police Department are speaking out after a recent ruling.
Around 3:20 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2021, Oklahoma City officers were called to a reported domestic disturbance in the 4900 block of N. Missouri Ave., located near N.E. 50th and MLK.
When Officer Braden Downs arrived at the home, he encountered 63-year-old Joel Lewis, who was standing just inside the doorway.
Investigators say Lewis pulled out a pistol and shot Downs in the chest and left hand.
Fortunately, Officer Downs was wearing a ballistic vest, which stopped the round from hitting him in the chest.
Downs returned fire, hitting Lewis in the leg.
Earlier this month, Lewis entered a blind plea on a shooting with intent to kill charge.
Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott sentenced Lewis to six years in prison with credit for time served.
“It is disheartening and frustrating to see the lives of our law enforcement officers minimized by the criminal justice system. Police work, in and of itself, can be highly dangerous. However, lenient prison sentences, such as the one handed down to Mr. Lewis, have a chilling effect on law enforcement, and ultimately place the lives of police officers in greater peril,” a statement from the Oklahoma City Police Department read.
“I believe this sends a very poor message to not only to this community, but to all of our police officers each and every day that put this uniform on and put themselves in harm’s way,” said Chief Wade Gourley.
Gourley says Lewis could serve as little as four and a half years in prison, due to Oklahoma law.