OKC Police Officer Charged With Second-Degree Murder
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City police officer was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail for second-degree murder in connection with a November officer-involved shooting.
Sgt. Keith Patrick Sweeney was charged in connection to the death of 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon.
Police were called on Nov. 15 to the 1400 block of SW 20 to approach a suicidal person.
Pigeon reportedly doused himself with lighter fluid, held a lighter and threatened to kill himself. Pigeon was killed when he refused to comply with officers' commands. Pigeon's death was the seventh officer-involved shooting and the 77th homicide in Oklahoma City.
According to the court document, Sweeney shot Pigeon multiple times after Pigeon was hit by projectile from a bean bag shotgun deployed by another officer. Pigeon was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court document said the investigation into the incident concluded Pigeon was not armed and was not a threat to the officers when he was shot by Sweeney.
The district attorney's office determined the use of deadly force was not justified.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed the murder charged against Sweeney on Tuesday.
“Pigeon would not drop the lighter,” said Prater. “But was substantially compliant with the officers’ orders. At one point, Mr. Pigeon dropped his hands to waist level.
“Sweeney should not have been yelling orders,” said Prater. “They’re talking to him, trying to get him to drop it.”
Pigeon's father told News 9 the day of the shooting that he did not understand why his son was fatally shot.
“He went out and helped people. He just was not a mean man. He was not,” Boston Pigeon, Dustin Pigeon's father, said. “He was a good person.”
Sweeney is a nine-year veteran of the police department. Sweeney was also involved in another officer-involved shooting in 2015 when police say a suspect attempted to hit two officers with a vehicle in northwest Oklahoma City.
“It will be a jury’s decision and duty to determine exactly the truth and veracity of the statemen,” said Prater.
Prater is also reviewing another Oklahoma City officer-involved shooting that took the life of a deaf man. He is reviewing the medical examiner’s report before announcing his decision.
Tuesday afternoon, John George, the president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, released the following statement regarding the charges filed against officer Sweeney:
“Police officers are routinely placed in dangerous situations where they must quickly make life-or-death decisions. We caution citizens against jumping to conclusions until the facts are fully presented.
At this time, the FOP is not privy to the findings of the criminal investigation, and the video released today is only one piece of the puzzle. We hope to have more information about the particulars of this tragic situation soon.
The FOP will always support members who act in good faith under the policies of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the law.
We know these are trying times for Sgt. Sweeney and his family, and we’re here for them. We also offer our sympathy to Mr. Pigeon’s family and loved ones.”