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Weekend round up: Tragedy at police academy, and a homicide victim with a past

by Juliana Keeping Published: October 16, 2012

It was clear something was amiss today at the police station media room. Most media outlets sent reporters, joining the usual grunts who slog through the fat stack of weekend reports every Monday. A crowded media room is usually a bad sign for some poor soul out there.

Indeed, we’d gathered because more details had come to light today after learning over the weekend of the training accident and death of Oklahoma City police recruit Kelley Chase, 38. The full article is on newsok, but here’s a bit more information about Chase:

At the time of the accident, Chase was undergoing a test on the last day of a two-week self-defense techniques course.

Kelley Chase
Kelley Chase
During the six-minute rotation of simulated fights, he went to the ground several times with different instructors, hitting his head on a mat…
It’s an exercise in specific tactics and endurance, but also restraint; recruits should use force, but not too much of it, as they try to handcuff an attacker.
The recruits do not wear helmets or other head gear during the exercises.
When Chase hit the ground a final time, he did not get up. Nurses on standby at the training facility, 800 N Portland Ave., evaluated him. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Chase had hit his head in the Friday afternoon exercise. He underwent surgery but died Saturday morning. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Sunday slaying

Sunday’s homicide sounded sadly familiar – man shot dead at an Oklahoma City apartment complex. This is a killing with a past. Victim Orlando Smith had been cleared in June of a 2009 murder charge. His shooting Sunday has that retaliatory gangland feeling, but police said that’s a feeling they can’t confirm.

Orlando Smith
Orlando Smith
Tracy Humphrey
Tracy Humphrey

Two years after a teenager was gunned down outside a nightclub, two men accused in that shooting have been killed themselves.
A jury found Orlando Joshawn Smith not guilty of murder in June.
Now Smith, 21, is dead, gunned down at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex.
He was shot about 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Whitby Court apartments, 7504 Knight Lake Drive, and died at a hospital, police report.
Smith faced a murder charge in the suspected gang-related fatal shooting of Dejontae Durham, 17, in November 2009 outside an Oklahoma City nightclub, records show…Tracey T. Humphrey, who was accused as an accomplice in the 2009 slaying, also was gunned down.

Here’s the full story.

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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