TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa County Sheriff’s office says a reserve deputy fatally shot a man he intended to tase.
They say 73-year-old Robert Bates accidentally grabbed his gun instead of his taser as he tried to help subdue a suspect black market gun dealer.
Instead of tasing the suspect, he shot him.
CNN reports that the incident happened after a sting operation Thursday.
44-year-old Eric Harris allegedly sold a semi-automatic pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to an undercover officer, the Sheriff’s office says.
When they tried to arrest him, authorities say he resisted and ran. A struggle ensued and deputies were afraid he might have a weapon.
That’s when they say Bates tried to subdue the man with his taser, but accidentally pulled his pistol.
According to a Tulsa County Sheriff’s press release about the incident, Harris allegedly told medical personnel that he was high on PCP at the time.
They’re classifying this as a ‘tragic event.’
Bates was named Reserve Deputy of the Year in 2011, according to the Sheriff’s Office website.