Only On 9: Norman Hostage Suspect Speaks Out From Jail

Wednesday, February 17th 2016, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

SWAT teams and hostage negotiators rushed to the scene of an Norman office building on Nov. 10, 2014.

Inside was a gunman holding people hostage.

The reason why has been unknown, until now.

News 9 sat down with that gunman behind bars.

Just over a year ago, Devin Rogers literally wandered his way into Oklahoma.

He would eventually leave countless people traumatized.

But this Army veteran claims there was never a need to fear.

"You can call me a terrorist. Fine. You can call me a bad man. Fine. You can call me an evil wrong doer. Fine. I really don't care," Rogers said.

Call him what you want now, but Oklahomans first knew Rogers as the gunman, the man who took hostages, and the source of panic for nearly four hours.

What he negotiated left many asking why.

"I am self-destructing and I am now in the phase of self-punishment as one would say," Rogers said while behind bars in Cleveland County.

Punishment that started in 2012 after serving nearly a decade in the Army.

"It just kind of all hit me at once. It, everything was just overwhelming, so I decided to kill myself," Rogers said.

He overdosed on pills and woke up vomiting. He then slit his wrist and his throat, the scars still visible.

"It's very difficult when you're wanting to die, and you can't die, or your body won't let you die and then you're forced to continue," Rogers said.

Deemed unfit to serve Rogers was medically discharged.

Two years later, while traveling the U.S., he ended up in Oklahoma City.

This is surveillance video from Nov. 10, 2014.

That morning the self-punishment set in again.

"I needed time in prison, I needed time my way, and I happened to see the Nexstep building and it happened to be tall enough," he said.

At noon, those same surveillance cameras show Rogers crouch behind a bush.

In the parking lot, Joe Steadman returned from lunch.

News 9: What went through your mind right before you left that bush?

"I really shouldn't do this," Rogers said he told himself on that day.

Rogers grabbed Steadman and put the barrel of the gun to his neck.

They proceeded through the main entrance, up the elevator and onto the second floor to Steadman's office.

Jennifer Shokat was also there working through lunch.

"You never think you're going to be in that situation," Shokat said. She worked in the Nexstep building at that time.

Shokat locked her office doors. Rogers shot at the glass. Steadman ran. Rogers let him go and kept firing.

"As I was under my desk taking cover there was glass flying into my office from the door he was shooting through. It was very loud," Shokat said.

News 9: What was the first thing you said to her?

" Ma'am, please rise up," Rogers said.

"You just become numb. You don't feel anything at that point," she said.

Two other men stayed in a separate office leaving Rogers and Shokat alone. Everyone else evacuated.

Shokat said her numbness eventually wore off. The two joked, laughed and talked politics. He even allowed her to text friends and family. 

Then, Rogers got what he wanted by negotiating for 10 years in prison.

Shokat is left thinking how the situation could have ended much differently.

"To put me in the middle of it when I had nothing to do with that situation, it was hard, it's hard to get over that," she said.

News 9: Were you prepared for the worse to happen? 

"I wasn't going to fire. So that was preparedness," Rogers said.

News 9: Why then was the gun loaded?

"Bullets in, bullets out doesn't matter to me," Rogers said.

News 9: But you ended up firing the weapon.

"That was definitely an irrational move, I would have to say," Rogers said.

News 9: Are you remorseful?

"In a sense, being that that I shouldn't put people through it but at the same time, no. There was no intention of harm either which way," Rogers said. "The whole objective was to give up. That's what you guys keep forgetting. To give up was the objective. To go to prison. Was the objective. That's it. So if you have rushed me I would have gave up. That's it. I didn't need to fight. I gave up. I was giving up on life."

Rogers' attorney advised him not to sit down for this interview, but his attorney was present for the interview.

Also, the Cleveland County district attorney and the Norman police declined News 9's request for an interview.

Rogers trial is set for June 13 and faces multiple counts, including kidnapping for extortion.