Off-duty Langston University officer opens fire on shoplifting suspect at Del City Walmart

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Del City police investigated an incident on July 4 in which an off-duty officer working as a security guard fired shots at a fleeing shoplifting suspect in the parking lot at Walmart.

DEL CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – An off-duty Langston University officer opened fire on a shoplifting suspect at the Del City Walmart.
 
Police say the officer worked security for Walmart. 
 
Witnesses say they saw the officer and suspect in a struggle.
 
“The officer kept trying to rip the suspect out of the car, the suspect wouldn’t go, the suspect started the car, and put it in reverse, and at that point, the officer jumped back a little bit and fired point-blank into the suspect about five times,” witness John Hamilton said.
 
“At some point after [the suspect] hits [the officer] with the door, the off-duty officer began firing,” Major Bradley Rule with Del City Police said.

After the suspect started to drive off, the officer kept firing.

“After those initial shots, the suspect backed his car up, and the officer stood behind his car and fired like this point-blank through the back windshield another five or six times,” Hamilton said.

“We just thought to run,” witness Connor Wells said.

Police say the suspect had a receipt for some purchases, but not all of them.

“The individual had bought three or four items, but was pushing more items out the door that he didn’t pay for,” Rule said.

Brian Traylor, who says he’s the cousin of the person who was shot, posted a video showing the shot-up car, showing shattered glass and blood on the seat. 

He says family members took him to the hospital.

“It makes no sense to me, it really hurts,” he said. “The thing is, even if he paid for it or not, what was the reason for that, for him, for the police to shoot that many times?”

Police say the victim is in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Langston officer is being interviewed by Del City detectives.

“We’re going to do the same investigation we would do regardless who the person is,” Rule said.

7.7.2020: This story has been updated to clarify it was a Langston University officer and not a member of Langston’s Police Department.

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