Oklahoma City man shot in back may be paralyzed, stepfather says

An Oklahoma City police officer shot Verle Deljet Parton, 18, of Oklahoma City, about 9:40 p.m. Sunday near SW 59 and S Pennsylvania Avenue. Police reported he had a gun in his hand and turned toward the officer who shot him.
BY JULIANA KEEPING STAFF WRITER jkeeping@opubco.com Modified: October 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm •  Published: October 31, 2012
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An 18-year-old man shot by police on Sunday was shot in the back and may be paralyzed, his stepfather said.

Verle Deljet Parton, 18, of Oklahoma City, was shot about 9:40 p.m. Sunday near SW 59 and Agnew Avenue by police Sgt. John Baker, a 10-year veteran of the department and member of the gang unit.

The incident happened as police tried to stop the car Parton was driving near SW 59 and Pennsylvania Avenue. The car sped away before Parton and two passengers hopped out and ran. Baker was chasing Parton by foot when Parton turned on the officer with a gun, police reported. He had refused to stop and drop his weapon, police said.

Jason Gunkel, Parton's stepfather, said he was able to see Parton for two or three minutes in the hospital on Monday. His stepson said he had been shot in the back and was paralyzed, details police said they could not confirm.

“He could barely talk,” Gunkel said. “They told us we had to leave, and not to come back.”

Police would not initially tell Gunkel where Parton was being treated.

Parton is under police guard at the hospital in critical condition, Capt. Dexter Nelson said. He is being held on a complaint of eluding police, though it's likely more complaints will be added once interviews with officers involved in the chase are complete.

The police department and hospitals have policies in place when individuals are in police custody there that restrict the flow of information and visitors, Nelson said. The policies are meant to protect other patients, as well as the individual in custody. Police are wary of scenarios where gang members may try to harm, or family or other affiliates try to free, individuals under arrest at the hospital.

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