CLAREMORE, Okla. — A district attorney ruled Friday that an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper’s shooting of a man during a June traffic stop was justified.
District Attorney Matthew J. Ballard released his ruling in the June 25 shooting of 34-year-old Robert Harris by Trooper Caleb Cole to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
“Oklahoma Highway Patrol Caleb Cole justifiably shot an armed, convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm and drugs during an otherwise routine traffic stop,” Ballard wrote in his conclusion.
“The situation did not escalate until the decedent, a passenger in the vehicle the Trooper lawfully pulled over, refused to follow Trooper Cole’s directions.”
Cole pulled over the driver, Harris being the passenger, on the Will Rogers Turnpike in rural Craig County, near the turnpike toll plaza.
Ballard says the investigation Cole shot Harris in the head after he “appeared to manipulate an object” and “rapidly brought his hand around toward Trooper Cole, who observed a black object in his previously empty hand.”
Cole described to investigators that he then saw a gun fly backward in the car, where it was later found in the backseat.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
© 2020 Cox Media Group