A Del City police captain will stand trial in the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old man in the back, a judge decided Monday after a preliminary hearing.
Oklahoma County Special Judge Larry Jones ordered Capt. Randy Trent Harrison, 47, to be tried on a first-degree manslaughter charge in the death of Dane Garrett Scott Jr., which occurred after an afternoon car chase March 14 that ended near SE 15 and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City.
Del City police Detective Ted Kleber, who interviewed Harrison, testified the police captain acknowledged taking hydrocodone for back pain on the morning before the shooting.
“He said he had taken some painkillers about 10:30 that morning,” the detective said.
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 after being disarmed. The first three shots missed, and the fourth hit him in the back as he climbed a fence.
During the struggle for Scott's gun, Harrison said he tried to shoot Scott twice but his weapon misfired, the detective testified.
Kleber 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,” even though Scott had been disarmed.
“At no point in time did he ever say he saw a gun (during the foot pursuit),” Kleber said.
Kleber also testified that Harrison described Scott, an alleged drug dealer targeted for surveillance by Harrison, as “a menace.”
The detective said Harrison told him he arrested Scott in November with several marijuana baggies in his possession and made two subsequent contacts with Scott that did not result in arrest.
The officer also took surveillance photos of Scott making what appeared to be drug transactions in front of his Del City home and outside Del City High, Kleber told the judge.
The detective said Harrison violated police department policy by initiating a pursuit in a residential area that reached speeds of 110 miles per hour “for a minor traffic infraction.”
Two other Del City police officers also testified that Scott posed no threat to law enforcement while trying to elude capture.
Officer Steve Robinson testified shooting Scott in the back with a stun gun because he wanted to prevent him from escaping over the fence.
“My intent was to try to capture him with my Taser, not a gun,” Robinson said. “I did not see a threat to do otherwise.”
Robinson, it turned out, fired his stun gun about the same time Harrison fired the fatal shot. Robinson said he didn't see Harrison running after Scott because he was coming from a different direction.
Harrison remains on administrative leave from his job with the police department and is free on bail.