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Stepdad: Police shot Verle Parton in the back

by Juliana Keeping Published: October 31, 2012

Police this week named Verle Deljit Parton, 18, as the man shot by police on Sunday.

With the name, I tracked down relatives and more information about Parton. Police from the OKCPD’s gang unit said he jumped out of a car with a gun after a brief police pursuit, then turned toward an officer before being shot SW 59 and Agnew.

His stepdad says he was shot in the back and may be paralyzed, details police could not confirm.


Police responded to my request for more info about the 10-year force veteran who shot Parton, Sgt. John Baker. Here’s what they e-mailed today:

Regarding your request for disciplinary information and weapons discharge records on Sgt. John Baker (the officer involved in the shooting occurring at SW 59th and Agnew on 10-28-12 at approx. 0940 – Case #12-090938). Sgt. Baker has had no disciplinary actions resulting in termination, demotion, or loss of pay, and the shooting on 10-28-12 was the first recorded incident of him firing his weapon outside of training.

Jason Gunkel, Parton’s stepdad, described a tense scene at the hospital.

He told me he bugged police on the phone repeatedly after hearing from Parton’s brother that he’d been shot by police. Parton was in police custody at the hospital.

Police and hospitals have policies in place where they don’t typically give info, even to family, when someone’s in police custody at the hospital. That, Capt. Dexter Nelson explained, is because the person in custody could draw gang members or affiliates or family that put other patients in danger. Visitors’ intentions and relationships to the patient aren’t always clear or easy to verify for an officer pulled off the street to guard the patient.

Well, that made Gunkel mad. He wouldn’t stop bothering the department until they gave him the info. He tracked down his stepson and got to the room. Seeing that Parton was shot in the back, he admits he insulted the police for what he viewed as shoddy police work. He said his stepson was able to tell him he was shot in the back and probably paralyzed. Parton got an injection and went to sleep within two to three minutes of his arrival, according to Gunkel. Police told him to leave.

“Now they said we can’t see him,” he said.

Police said Parton’s family members were being confrontational at the hospital.

Parton is being held for eluding police but will probably have more charges added once an investigation is complete. He’s got a juvenile record and spent his teen years in DHS custody, rather than in the care of a mentally ill mother, a relative told me. No dad in the picture.

Here’s the article that resulted from my work yesterday.

by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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