Owner of stolen truck gave Oklahoma City police tracking updates minutes before deadly police chase, victim’s family reacts

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of an expectant mother who died during a police chase in Northeast Oklahoma City on Monday morning.

Star Shells had just dropped her sons at John Rex Elementary when she was killed in a crash near Northeast 15th and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

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Star Shells

“We love our kids just like everybody else, and what you’ve taken away from us is irreplaceable,” said the victim’s aunt.

The deadly police chase crash happened when a man called Oklahoma City police about his truck being stolen. He said it was running when the suspect, Wacey Mikles, jumped in and took off with it.

He was even able to track the truck with his cell phone, giving officers “real time updates of the vehicle location” when the 6-minute pursuit was initiated.

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Wacey Mikles

Residents expressed their concerns on social media about why the chase even happened if they knew where the truck was. An expert witness consultant on police practices and procedures also weighed in on the investigation.

“Police officers should only engage in a pursuit when it’s justified to use deadly force,” said Andrew Scott. “Beyond that, let the individual flee. They already had this individual tracked.”

Scott said more training on high-speed chase should be done since they are one of the most dangerous activities an officer can engage in.

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The scene of the deadly police chase crash.

For Shells’ family, there are not enough words to provide comfort.

“I don’t understand. Why you just didn’t stop? I mean, you knew where this car was going,” said the victim’s aunt.

KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma City Police Department for a comment, and they directed us to their pursuit policy.

The Police Department’s pursuit policy states that “effort should be made to avoid pursuits due to the extreme danger present in such activity. Officers shall consider the risk to the public (and themselves) in any pursuit. Officers of the department must balance the need for immediate apprehension of the suspect with the need to protect the public from the danger caused by the pursuit. All officers are reminded that their basic responsibility is to protect the public. When the danger of a pursuit exceeds the value of an immediate apprehension, public safety shall be paramount and require alternative methods of apprehension.”

The family started a GoFundMe account to help take care of the two boys.

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

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