Community Supports Tecumseh Police After Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting
TECUMSEH, Oklahoma - People from Tecumseh and beyond are coming together to show support for the police department and the family of officer Justin Terney who was killed in the line of duty.
OSBI agents, police and sheriff's deputies spent all of Monday combing through the scene of the officer-involved shooting, but they were not alone. Throughout the day, locals brought snacks, water and hugs for comfort.
"It's not only the department's loss. It's the whole community's loss," said Shannon Smith, who brought cases of water to the investigators. "It's tragic."
A blood drive was already scheduled for Monday and turned into a collection in Terney's name. Jack Gobin drove from Harrah to contribute when he first heard the officer was fighting for his life.
"I left with hope, thinking maybe my blood would help in his survival. It didn't, but they use this blood for others, so it's a good thing to do for whoever needs it," Gobin said.
With just a year of service under his belt, Terney was already starting to make a name for himself in Tecumseh. One woman shared photos on Facebook of him playing basketball with local kids.
Police Assistant Chief JR Kidney said Terney had just started training his puppy to be a K9 officer.
State legislators from the area said Terney's dedication is what made him stand out.
"Officer Terney was a pillar of the community because of the role he played and he's gone, but he's not forgotten," said Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh.
Tecumseh locals made sure that message was heard loud and clear Monday. They lined the streets with American flags as officers from around the region escorted Terney to his hometown of Canadian.
"He's only 22, and he died doing what he loved, and I'm pretty sure his family is very grateful everybody is showing support throughout the community," said Amanda Hill, who brought water to investigators.
Funeral arrangements are pending.