Man Dies In OKC Police Custody After Being Tasered

Wednesday, July 13th 2016, 5:56 pm
By: News 9

Most people were heading to the 7-Eleven at NW 47 and Western Avenue to get gas or a cup of coffee Wednesday morning when they heard a commotion, and saw Oklahoma City police officers struggling with a man with a pair of scissors in his hands.

There were plenty of witnesses around the 7-Eleven who say they saw that very same man acting suspicious inside the store, all while holding the sharp scissors for all to see.

James Kirk was one of those witnesses. He said he saw police try to talk to the man but then saw things take a violent turn.

“When they stopped him over there, I heard them tell him put his hands up,” said Kirk. “But he didn't put his hands up. He raised up his hands and had the scissors in the hands. And the cops stepped back and they told him to put his hands up. But he had that one hand up with the scissors and after that they Tased (sic) him.”

Kirk said he believes officers had no choice but to do what they did.

Police said the man even started stabbing himself.

Video taken at the scene shows officers trying to attend to the armed man, after one officer deployed their Taser gun and officers placed him in handcuffs. Officers placed him in maximal restraints to try to keep him from hurting himself or the officers on the scene.

But that's when police say he started having a hard time breathing.

"He was un-handcuffed, EMSA was called and he was transported to an area hospital,” said Oklahoma City police Capt. Paco Balderrama.

Balderrama said the man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Now, the department is investigating the incident as they await the results from the state medical examiner's office as to why the man died and what he may have had in his system.

“It is quite possible that the person was under the influence of some type of intoxicant," said Balderrama

Oklahoma City police say they will release the man's name on Thursday after his family has been notified.

The officers involved have been placed on routine administrative leave. They will be identified Thursday.