OKLAHOMA CITY – An off-duty reserve officer for a local college is under investigation after trying to stop an accused thief.
The sound of a gunshot was heard around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night outside the Belle Isle Walmart.
Nobody was hit, but investigators are looking into whether the security officer should have fired his gun.
Michael Heatherly says he was doing some shopping Tuesday when security officer Stephen Seely took off after a shoplifting suspect.
“The guy hops in the car. The cop hollers, ‘Hey, get out of the car! Get out of the car! Put your hands up!’ And at this time, the cop’s like in front of the car and the dude tries to run him over. There was two people in the car,” Healtherly said.
He said that is when Seely fired his gun.
“The cop had no choice but to fire a shot at him because his life was in danger,” Heatherly said.
Investigators have looked at surveillance video and have talked to other witnesses.
“I can tell you from witness statements and from the actual footage, he was not in front of the vehicle when the shot was fired,” Capt. Paco Balderrama, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, said.
Police also want to question the shoplifting suspect who is still on the loose.
“Once shots are fired, then we really focus more on the shooting itself,” Capt. Balderrama said.
Seely works for Signal 88 Security, but the company is not commenting.
He is also a volunteer reserve officer for Mid-America Christian University.
Seely was off-duty at the time, but the school has placed him on administrative leave.
“The university will not be taking action directly until after the investigation,” Jessica Rimmer, with Mid-America Christian University, said.
A police report shows Seely is CLEET certified and has had his armed security guard license since 2007.
We reached out to him Wednesday, but have not heard back.
Police are looking for the suspect’s vehicle, which is described as a late 90’s green Ford Taurus.