|Updated: 3/12/2012 9:58 am
||Published: 3/08/2012 8:08 pm
A critical question in Wednesday’s courthouse plaza shooting: Why?
Friends are asking what motivated a man to approach the plaza with a gun and start firing rounds from his gun.
"I feel sorry for the people that it happened to but that doesn’t' remind me of Joe," said Dennehy’s best friend Andy Johnston.
Andrew Dennehy, 23, also known as Joe, remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition.
He was hit by deputies’ bullets Wednesday afternoon after he opened fire. Deputy David Fortenberry was shot in the hands and bystander Ricardo Manuel, 28, was also shot.
Dennehy’s best friend talked exclusively to FOX23 News and said the Joe he knows is not the man the public saw on plaza.
They had a friendship that never strayed.
"We've been best friends, ever since the 8th grade,” said Johnston.
Andy Johnston met Dennehy at Nimitz Middle School.
They called him Joe Dirt and he was the godfather of Johnston’s son.
"He really was a good guy and his still a really good guy,” said his best friend.
However, the man Johnston saw on the courthouse plaza was not the man he grew up with.
"Once I saw the picture of him on the ground it got me and seeing him walking around with a gun, it shocked me because that's not Joe. I've never seen him do anything crazy like that,” said Johnston.
Detectives say Dennehy parked his car across from the courthouse plaza and started shooting. He hit Deputy Fortenberry and bystander Manuel.
"What he did was bad but that's not going to change how we feel about him. We know he went through a lot and we know he is going through a lot and he needs somebody,” said Johnston’s wife Breanna.
Dennehy’s best friend says he can’t look at the pictures of Dennehy pointing a gun at deputies and then on the ground in a pool of blood.
"That bothers me every time I see it because that's not Joe. I don't see that kind of person do that. I mean he did it but I didn't ever think he would do something like that, ever,” said Johnston.
He admits Dennehy has had a few run ins with the law. Dennehy has been convicted of drunk driving, carrying a gun while being drunk and he’s faced other gun and marijuana charges.
However, FOX23 News was the first to report Dennehy’s brother was killed by an officer in 2005.
Johnston says his friend’s depression started when his brother was killed in a shootout with Tulsa Police in 2005.
Dennehy was only 17-years-old when his brother died.
Brian Dennehy was wanted by police in Oklahoma City for beating his 81-year-old grandfather to death.
When stopped by Tulsa police at 51st and Harvard, Dennehy fired shots at a homicide detective who shot back killing Brian Dennehy.
"He always kept it to himself because it would make him cry and he doesn't like to cry,” said Johnston.
Was he thinking about his brother Wednesday on the courthouse plaza?
That’s the question everyone is asking.
"Why? Why didn't you call me before you did something like that, why did you think to do something like that? Why? The same thing on everyone's mind, I want to know why,” said Johnston.
Tulsa police are handling the investigation.
They are reviewing those surveillance cameras and witness accounts to get a better idea of exactly how the shooting played out.
The surveillance video will not be released pending the investigation.
Police say the victims and Dennehy are expected to make a full recovery.
Deputy Fortenberry was hired as a detention officer in 2006 and promoted to deputy in 2010.