Charges Filed Against Suspect In Norman Hostage Situation

Wednesday, November 12th 2014, 12:48 pm
By: News 9

Charges have been filed against a man accused of holding three people hostage inside the Nextep building in Norman.

According to the Cleveland County District Attorney's office, 29-year-old Devin Rogers has been charged with two felony counts of kidnapping for extortion, two felony counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony count of discharging firearm into dwelling, and a felony count of possessing firearm during commission of a felony.

The hostage situation at the Nextep building, located at 1800 N. Interstate Drive, lasted just over four hours on Monday. The suspect, Devin Rogers is being held at the Cleveland County Detention Center. 

11/10/2014 Related Story: Norman Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully, Suspect In Custody

Police confirmed that Rogers was armed with a pistol when he entered the Farzaneh Law Firm, on the second floor of the Nextep building, and held three hostages. Rogers requested Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn, who worked out an arrest deal with Rogers. Upon that deal, the hostages were released and able to be back with family while Rogers was taken into custody.

David Blair, a paralegal with the Farzaneh Law Firm spoke with News 9 and said he was in contact with one of the hostages, Jennifer McMinn Shokat. Blair said that Shokat told him the suspect claimed to be a 10-year Iraq war veteran.

Rogers went before a judge for his video arraignment Wednesday afternoon. He stayed silent and kept his head down as the judge read the charges against him. 

An affidavit released on Wednesday revealed more details of the incident. According to the document, at about 12:26 p.m. Monday, officers received a 911 call about a hostage situation at the Nextep building at 1800 N. Interstate Drive West in Norman. Police learned that a gunman was taking a hostage up to suite 202, and that about seven gunshots had been fired.

Norman police's SWAT team responded to the scene. After several hours of negotiation with the suspect, the suspect reportedly released a hostage and surrendered himself.

Norman police spoke with one hostage, Joseph Steadman, who said he was walking across the parking lot when he was approached by Rogers. Steadman said Rogers pressed a gun to the back of his neck and grabbed his shirt, forcing him into the building. Rogers then escorted Steadman to the second floor of the building where he saw a man and a woman behind a locked glass door.

According to police, Rogers told the two to open the door. But they did not comply. That's when Rogers attempted to break the glass door by striking it with his gun. When the glass did not break, Rogers pushed Steadman to the side and started shooting at the glass door to gain entry. Steadman ran away while shots were being fired, police said.

11/11/2014 Related Story: Norman Hostage Recounts Being Held At Gunpoint

The man behind the glass door, Dayman Capers, told police that he saw the gunman and took cover in an adjoining office by barricading himself. Rogers then told him that if he did not come out, he would kill the woman, Jennifer McMinn Shokat, who had been taken hostage at that point.

Shokat told police she saw Rogers holding the gun to Steadman's head while they were standing in the hallway outside of her office. Rogers demanded that Shokat open the door. She did not comply and took cover in her office. She said she then heard gunshots and thought Steadman had been killed.

According to police, Shokat later realized that Rogers had not shot Steadman, but had shot the glass door, gaining access to her office. Rogers then told Shokat to stand up. He reportedly told Shokat that he would not hurt her, and that he only wanted to negotiate a deal.

Shokat said she complied and Rogers walked her to another office. She said Rogers walked behind her while he was holding the gun to her and giving her commands of where to go.

According to the affidavit, Rogers confirmed with police that he approached a man in the parking lot, held a gun to his head/neck area, and walked the man inside the building. Rogers said he told the secretary to call police as he took the male hostage to the second floor.

Rogers said he saw a man and woman behind the glass door and fired shots at the door to gain entry. He said he pointed his gun in the woman's direction and motioned to her with the gun for her to get up.

Rogers told police that he escorted the woman to another room and had her sit down. 

News 9 learned on Wednesday that four attorneys are representing Devin Rogers pro bono: David Smith, Sam Talley, Kevin Findlay, and Vicki Floyd. Rogers' next hearing is 9 a.m. on Friday before Judge Stice. It's called a Brill Hearing, which means it is to determine if Rogers can be held without bond.

Preliminary hearing is set to take place on November 25, and attorneys have asked that Rogers appear. It will happen before Judge Tupper.

Defense has asked DA Greg Mashburn to recuse himself, since he will be a witness too due his conversations with Rogers. Stice will hear arguments on that on Friday. 

Rogers did not enter a plea, but admitted he understood the charges against him. He may enter one Friday morning.