Three officers who fatally shot a man Monday night have been placed on leave while homicide detectives investigate the shooting.
Roc LaRue, 43, died Monday night after a car chase that ended at NW 61 and N Shawnee Avenue, police reported.
Three officers, two from Oklahoma City and one from Warr Acres, fired at LaRue, police reported. Oklahoma City police Sgt. Christopher Grimes and officer Daniel Kleehammer and Warr Acres police officer Cory Drain have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.
The pursuit began about 8 p.m. Monday after a man at a Dollar General store near Warr Acres reported his vehicle was stolen, Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.
The chase ended in the North Coronado Heights neighborhood, where police said LaRue got out holding a large knife before officers opened fire.
Three Oklahoma City police officers used Tasers on LaRue: Sgt. Patrick Morgan, Sgt. Anthony Franklin and officer Clinton Caswell. They have been placed on restricted duty status pending investigation of the shooting, police reported.
LaRue was driving slowly when he stopped the stolen car and got out, facing officers, said Shelia Gage, who lives on NW 61. She said she got behind her own car as she heard officers using a Taser.
“I heard this pop, pop, pop, pop, and I knew he was being Tasered,” Gage said. But that didn’t stop LaRue, police reported.
Officer Joshua Castlebury fired bean bags from a shotgun at the man as he ran over trash bins set outside the home of Kayla Jenkins, 27, who moved to the neighborhood a week ago. Castlebury has also been placed on restricted duty, police reported.
Jenkins said she and her roommate were watching television.
“We just saw a flash of someone running by, then 15 to 20 cops ran through our front yard with their weapons out, with their guns out,” Jenkins said.
The man was surrounded at a curb along N Quapah, where a small retaining wall separates the front yard of a house, where young children live, and the street, Jenkins said.
“He went down in the front of this barrier wall here,” Jenkins said. “They (police officers) shot probably 12 to 15 times. It was so loud. None of the neighbors were coming out at that point.”
Jenkins and her roommate said they did not know what directions shots were being fired.
“We didn’t want to come outside because we didn’t know which way the police officers were facing, toward this wall where it actually happened, or toward our house, which they very well could have been,” Jenkins said, looking at bullet marks on the curb.
“When the shooting started, we actually ducked down away from the windows,” Jenkins said.
She said she went outside after the shooting stopped. The man appeared “very limp and lifeless at that point,” as he was taken away on a stretcher by an ambulance crew.
Police reported LaRue was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
LaRue was scheduled to appear in court June 17 in connection with a 2012 DUI charge, court documents show. He had been convicted of numerous felonies since 1990 and spent several years in prison for burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle.
The shooting was the second fatal officer-involved shooting in three years in the same northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood.
On May 31, 2011, Clay Baron Howell, 20, was shot at the end of a pursuit of a stolen SUV at NW 58 and N Portland Avenue. He died at a hospital later.
Mardirous Kamisizian, 20, another man in the stolen SUV, was arrested that evening on complaints of murder, shooting with intent to kill, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and use of a motor vehicle to facilitate a drive-by shooting. He later told police Howell had held a gun to his head and forced him to drive the stolen vehicle.
Rosemary Brown, secretary of the North Coronado Heights Neighborhood Association, said the addition, which is west of Portland Avenue and south of Northwest Expressway, has about 600 homes.
“We do kind of feel like this is a coincidence,” Brown said. “We feel like the neighborhood is pretty safe.”
The 2011 chase started after the owner spotted his vehicle and called police. An exchange of gunfire happened as the vehicles sped through the North Coronado Heights neighborhood. That pursuit went through Rotary Park near NW 57 and Tulsa Avenue.