Salazar's Lawyers Say Excessive Force Was Used In His Death

Thursday, September 25th 2014, 8:56 pm
By: News 9

There are more developments in the case of a suspect killed by an officer after police said he stabbed a K-9 officer last month. News 9 learned the suspect's family had an independent autopsy done.

Days after 22-year-old Mark Salazar was shot and killed, his father had American Forensics of Dallas do a second autopsy. That report found that Salazar was shot several times, including four times in the back and once in the arm and thigh. The medical examiner's autopsy released early Wednesday said the same and suggested Salazar was running from police after he stabbed K-9 officer Kye, who later died.

"If the suspect's running away from you, that's impossible," said Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty. "You can't have a round that goes in the upper top shoulder at an angle and go down to the lower back if you're running away from the officer or you're running away from the shots being fired, so that's why we wanted a clarification, what the M.E. stated was wrong."

9/24/2014 Related Story: OCPD Raises Questions Over ME Report On Officer-Involved Shooting

Citty said a revised autopsy report is underway.

Salazar's attorneys said the sudden change is startling.

"It's very surprising. I don't think that I've seen that occur before," said Salazar's attorney Noble McIntyre. "It certainly happened quickly, or the chief of police was able to get the report changed quickly. We have no control over that. The family has been sitting back patiently to wait and see what the reports say."

It was August 24 when police said they responded to a burglary call that led to a vehicle pursuit and a foot chase, but Salazar's attorneys said the car was not stolen, it was in Salazar's name.

"For a crime of fleeing police and stabbing a dog in self-defense, after the dog attacks you, under Oklahoma law the maximum sentence for killing a police dog is two years," said David Bernstein, also Salazar's attorney, who said he believes excessive force was used the night Salazar died. "In Mark's case, he got the death penalty instantly." 

Oklahoma City police said they are wrapping up their investigation and will turn over their report to the McClain County District Attorney, who will determine if the shooting was justified.