OCPD Raises Questions Over ME Report On Officer-Involved Shooting
OKLAHOMA CITY - There are new questions surrounding conflicts in the medical examiner's report involving a man shot to death by Oklahoma City police officer Ryan Stark.
The suspect, Mark Salazar, stabbed a K-9 to death. The confusion boils down to the narrative of the autopsy report saying one thing and the medical evidence pointing to another.
The autopsy report states Stark fired six shots at Salazar, one in the left arm, four in the back and one in the left thigh. However, it is the narrative of the report that's called into question. It states Salazar was running away from police when those shots were fired, but Chief Bill Citty says his department's investigation shows Salazar was not running away when the shots were fired, and he was confronting the officer.
On Wednesday the medical examiner shed light on the issue. In an email to Citty, Dr. Eric Pfeifer agreed the narrative of the report does not match the medical evidence discovered during the autopsy. He basically stated the narrative is an initial observation of a case and not the final findings.
So News 9 contacted the ME's office.
"I can release a report, but I can't make any comment to what somebody else has put out there,” ME Spokesperson, Amy Elliot, said.
Meanwhile, there are other issues surrounding the case that need to be addressed, including if the six shots fired by Stark were justified and who is responsible for the investigation.
“The actual threat to the dog itself would probably not lend itself to be justified,” Citty said in the press conference.
At the time of the shooting, Salazar was committing a felony, animal cruelty, when he repeatedly stabbed and killed Kye, the police K9. Legal analyst Irven Box says that would lend to justification by the officer.
"I was an officer. I've been involved in shootings where I thought I fired two shots, and it had ended up I'd fired six,” Box said. “I know when the adrenaline hits, and those circumstances come up, the officer doesn't really realize sometimes what they're doing."
Box also believes McClain County, where the shooting happened, or the OSBI should be conducting this investigation - not Oklahoma City.
"Why is Oklahoma City investigating this homicide? Number one: It occurred in McClain County. I think they originally thought they had hot pursuit and that case would carry on into McClain County and it would be their jurisdiction. The way I read the law is the hot pursuit pertains to the person who is running, not to the officer who was shooting,” he said.
The McClain County District Attorney will determine if there is any wrongdoing in this case.