Amber Assistant Police Chief Recounts His Life-Or-Death Struggle At Del City Walmart
Amber’s Assistant Police Chief Marvin "Mark" Asche was moonlighting as a security guard when he had a brush with death.
“I know things can go bad in an instant, but that can happen at any job,” Asche said, who also admitted he considered the risks of working at the Walmart in Del City.
He decided the Feb. 9 shift was a good opportunity to earn some extra money but it nearly cost Asche his life.
“We stopped him at the door before he left,” Asche said.
He and a Walmart asset protection officer approached the shoplifter who had tried to pull a fast one in the self-checkout line.
”He had a Drimmel tool that he hadn’t paid for,” Asche said.
Security cameras showed a civil exchange between them.
“The kid kept asking, 'Can you just let me go? I won’t do it again,'” but Asche explained he couldn’t let him go.
The policy was to detain the shoplifter in the asset protection office and call in a Del City police officer to make the official arrest.
Asche was in the office with 25-year-old Gabriel Carter for more than a half hour.
During that time, he said Carter was antsy and consistently tried to talk his way out of an arrest.
Unbeknownst to Carter, Asche had already run his driver’s license and found an active arrest warrant on Carter.
“The asset protection guy let it slip, 'Well, I know you have a warrant, so we can’t let you go,'” Asche recalled. That's when Carter became more antsy.
The security cameras showed Carter adjusting his pockets and pulling near his waistband.
In hindsight, investigators think Carter was removing a gun from a holster in the waistband of his pants.
Del City police officer Chauncey Ward arrived moments later.
Asche said policy requires him to let the arriving officer take over and make the arrest.
Security cameras showed Ward attempting to handcuff Carter.
“That’s when the kid starts resisting. He pushes off the wall, the officer and the kid go to the ground and that’s when I know I have to assist in restraining the guy,” said Asche.
The video showed the three rolling around on the ground. The asset protection officer bolted out of the room.
“I hear, 'Gun, gun, gun,' and then a lot of shots,” Asche said.
Asche then felt the instant pain to his stomach and arm.
During the scuffle, Ward was also shot. He managed to return fire and called for back up.
Carter died at the scene.
Asche was in a fight for his life.
“I was in a lot of pain and felt my stomach filling with blood,” Asche said.
The paramedics' quick response ultimately saved his life.
The Midwest Ambulance that responded to the scene had just finished a call and knew they would arrive ahead of the other units.
Every moment mattered at that point.
Asche commends the life-saving efforts of the paramedics.
“I called my mom because I didn’t need another officer knocking on her door,” Asche said.
Then he shared jokes with paramedics, ”They couldn’t give me anything for the pain, so it helped to take my mind off of the pain.”
He woke up in ICU and was in the hospital for 10 days.
The bullet at such close range left a gaping hole in his stomach. A second bullet broke a bone in his arm.
Asche is in physical therapy and can’t return to work until he can grip a gun. The therapy is helping him recover but no one knows how long it will take.
He’s been out of work without for more than two months. The Amber Police Department is holding his job but he’s without a paycheck.
What’s more, he said the security company he work for, Signal 88, is denying his worker's compensation claims. Signal 88 did not immediately respond when News 9 requested for a comment.
“The head of Signal 88 basically said I’m not his problem, it’s not his worry,” Asche said.
Asche had some savings ahead of the shooting, but his future is uncertain.
Ward’s life has been altered, as well. He suffered from a gunshot to the leg and an emotional scar.
“Any sort of incident where somebody, unfortunately, lost their life, that is going to weigh heavy on the officer,” said Del City police Capt. Bradley Rule.
Rule said, such is the case for Ward, he waited at least a month for the shooting investigation to get completed.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater reviewed the investigation and determined Ward was justified in the shooting.
He was cleared and is back on the job.
Asche thinks Ward's actions were not only justified but heroic.
“If the officer hadn’t been there and drawn his weapon, I don’t think I would’ve made it home,” said Asche.