The parents of a young mother shot and killed in April by a multiagency task force are suing the Oklahoma City Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies involved in the incident.
Stacey Stout, 20, was shot to death April 9 near a motel in Oklahoma City after she and her boyfriend led police on a short chase. Her boyfriend, Christopher Stout, was also killed.
A task force consisting of officers from at least nine agencies was attempting to serve a warrant that day on Christopher Stout, 23, who had been arrested numerous times since 2011 for stealing, robbing a family associate with a paintball gun and repeatedly selling stolen property to pawnshops.
Police have not said whether the couple were armed or how many shots were fired.
The lawsuit filed by Lance and Barbre Stout, the parents of the dead woman, claims the officers involved in the shooting violated and failed to protect Stacey Stout's civil rights when they shot her to death.
The parents said they “are hesitant to engage in public comment,” but issued a statement to The Oklahoman on Tuesday claiming the lawsuit — filed July 19 in federal court — is about more than money.
“Despite our lack of access to all the information collected by those attempting to reconstruct the events surrounding our daughter's death, we have grave misgivings about the propriety and legality of the actions of the law enforcement officials responsible for taking her life,” the couple said in the statement, issued through an attorney.
“As such, we have filed an action in federal court in an attempt to come to know exactly what happened on the night of our daughter's death and to pursue justice on behalf of our daughter, whom we lost too soon, and on behalf of our granddaughter, who has lost more than can be easily reckoned.”
The shooting was investigated by the Oklahoma City Police Department, which has since forwarded a report to the Oklahoma County district attorney's office.
Capt. Dexter Nelson, an Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman, said he would not comment.
George Wright, a Shawnee attorney representing Lance and Barbre Stout in court, said he doesn't believe the young couple were armed when they were shot and killed. He said police have not officially told him one way or the other.
Law enforcement personnel listed by name in the Stouts' lawsuit include Oklahoma City police officer Kevin Johnson, U.S. Marshals Service deputies Callen Stephens and Taran Groom, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control agent James Leone, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Danny Long, Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputy Chad Pope and Canadian County sheriff's deputy Ed Grimes.
At the time of his death, Christopher Stout was being investigated in connection with numerous thefts and other crimes in multiple counties, including Pottawatomie and Payne counties.
No decision has been made on whether the shooting was justified or not.
“It's being reviewed,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said. “It's a complicated matter. There's no resolution yet,”
The lawsuit filed by Stacey Stout's parents is pending in federal court.
Autopsies for Stacey Stout and her boyfriend show the couple died from gunshot wounds.
Stacey Stout died of a single gunshot wound to the head. The hollow-point bullet removed from her head is described in the autopsy as “markedly deformed.”
Her boyfriend was shot four times, including wounds to his hand and chest. He was shot twice in the back, records show.
Signs of drugs
The autopsy reports for Stacey Stout and Christopher Stout also show that both had drugs in their systems at the time of the shooting.
A physician performing the autopsy on Christopher Stout noted that he had a “baggie with small blue pills located under his scrotum” during the examination. The pills were not identified in the report.
Reports show the couple had methamphetamines and oxycodone, a powerful narcotic painkiller, in their blood.
Christopher Stout had a higher level of both drugs in his system, toxicology reports show.
The autopsy reports reveal that Christopher Stout was driving a pickup at the time of the shooting and that he died at the scene.
Stacey Stout was pronounced dead a few hours later at a hospital.
Despite sharing the same last name, the couple were not married.