Investigation Continues After Metro Man Dies In OKC Police Custody

Monday, March 2nd 2015, 7:00 pm
By: News 9

An investigation continues into what caused a metro man's death while in Oklahoma City police custody. The 47-year-old-man died Sunday night after officers tried several times to take him into custody.

Police said they are waiting for the Medical Examiner's report before ruling Darrell Gatewood's death a homicide.

Gatewood's family watched him die from inside their apartment. Now they said they want answers from Oklahoma City police.

Medical supplies left behind by first responders Sunday night showed the attempts made to save 47-year-old Darrell Gatewood's life.

Oklahoma City police said it began with a call for help from a family member. 

2/1/2015 Related Story: Man Dies After Being Tasered By OKC Police During Assault, Officer Says

Police were told Gatewood was shadowboxing and breaking things inside the apartment.

Once officers arrived, they said things escalated quickly.

“He was on the floor on some glass. He was bleeding profusely and obviously not in the right state of mind,” said Capt. Paco Balderrama, Oklahoma City police.

Captain Balderrama said the officers used three different tactics to take Gatewood into custody. Verbal commands were used first, and then pepper spray.

When those tactics didn't work, police tazed him before eventually using force to take him into custody.

Shortly after Gatewood stopped breathing, an officer tried performing CPR on Gatewood while waiting for EMSA to arrive.

Precious Temple, Gatewood's daughter, called the officer's actions that night ridiculous and excessive.

"My daddy is on the ground already. Laying on the ground. They bum rush him on the ground and they tell him to put his hands behind is head," said Gatewood's daughter, Precious Temple. "They grabbed him, dragged him outside and threw him in a puddle of water. His face was in the puddle of water."

Temple said her father didn't try to hurt anyone in the apartment or try to fight officers.

“Everybody, the police, is making my dad to seem out like a bad guy and he's not. He's really a good man. You know everybody has their flaws. And that was his flaw, and you know it shouldn't have turned out the way it did,” she said.

The three officers involved have been placed on routine paid administrative leave.