RUSH SPRINGS, Oklahoma - A police officer’s body camera recorded the deadly exchange that took the life of a Rush Springs man last Wednesday night, a few miles West of Rush Springs. 

Police Chief Fred Payne said Officer Daniel Smith encountered 65-year-old Joseph Vandemark outside Vandemark’s home.  Vandemark’s girlfriend Chief Payne says had called 911, after Vandemark pistol-whipped her. 

Officer Smith’s body camera shows Vandemark, who was holding a firearm, lace Smith with profanity. The subject then refused to follow Officer Smith’s repeated commands to drop the weapon.

In fact, body cam and dash cam both show Vandemark walked toward Smith, and came to almost within a car’s length of Smith, before the police officer killed Vandemark with a single gunshot.

“If Mr. Vandemark would have complied, this situation would have ended up totally different. You eliminate that firearms threat. The officer doesn’t want lethal force. They didn’t come into work wanting to use lethal force,” Chief Payne said.  

Officer Daniel Smith has only been on the Rush Springs Police Department since February, but the Chief said he’s an Oklahoma National Guardsman, who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.