Chickasha Neighborhood Reacts To Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma - The OSBI is investigating the death of Steve Dwayne Vananda, 56, after a Chickasha police officer shot him early Saturday.
Now, his neighbors are on edge.
“Considering it’s a pretty quiet neighborhood, it’s been shocking,” said Tabatha Davidson, who lives across the street.
Investigators report Vananda exchanged gunfire with police, but some neighbors have a different theory.
Most people were sleeping when Chickasha police responded to a disturbance call on W Montana Avenue, but the block remained for closed most of the day.
“I didn’t hear it last night or anything. I just woke up to it,” said Matt Crawford, who left his home early for the start of hunting season. “It’s scary."
The police department told OSBI investigators there were reports that someone had a gun at 1908 W Montana. It was just before 2 a.m. when the responding officers went inside and announced their presence.
They walked into a room to find Vananda and one of his family members. Officers said Vananda grabbed a gun, and one officer shot him.
Davidson was not asleep at the time. Her dogs alerted her when the commotion began.
“I had never heard them go that insane,” she said. “It’s really crazy.”
Davidson has known Vananda's family for years and does not believe the gun inside the home was loaded.
"They don’t even keep bullets in the house. They have the gun but they don’t keep it loaded considering he’s been suicidal for so many years after his wife died,” She said.
Neighbors said the Vanandas mostly keep to themselves, which makes the violent incident even more surprising. Family members told News 9 they are not ready to speak about the shooting, but the community said they have their support.
“That’s just a bad situation, and I pray for the family and the officer because I know his heart is hurting too,” said neighbor Chrisellen Mullins.
The officer who shot Vananda is on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.