A judge Friday denied a motion to dismiss the case against a Del City police captain accused of fatally shooting an unarmed man in the back.
Randy Harrison is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the March 2012 shooting death of Dane Scott Jr., 18. The shooting occurred March 14 following an afternoon car chase that ended near SE 15 and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City.
Court records show Harrison took a gun away from Scott during a struggle before Scott ran off. The officer then fired four shots as Scott ran away. The first three shots missed, and the fourth hit him in the back as he climbed a fence.
Oklahoma County District Judge Donald L. Deason rejected defense attorney Doug Friesen's claim that the shooting was justifiable because Harrison was acting in his official capacity as a police officer.
Harrison, Friesen wrote in his motion, is permitted by law to use physical force, up to and including deadly force, “to prevent the escape of a violent fleeing felon.”
“Here, there is no question that Dane Scott had attempted to kill Captain Harrison, or that Captain Harrison reasonably believed that Dane Scott was escaping and that he posed a significant threat of death or injury to him and the other officers and any civilians Scott may have encountered during his escape attempt,” Friesen wrote.
During the struggle for Scott's gun, Harrison said he tried to shoot Scott twice but his weapon misfired, a detective who interviewed Harrison testified at the defendant's preliminary hearing in August.
Del City police Detective Ted Kleber testified the police captain acknowledged taking hydrocodone for back pain on the morning before the shooting.
Kleber also said Harrison told him during the interview he shot Scott because he felt Scott was armed with another weapon and was going to get away and “kill someone else or kill a police officer.”
Deason also issued a gag order in the case, which is set for trial April 8.