New Details Released In Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting In Stillwater

Thursday, January 29th 2015, 9:24 pm

By: News 9

News 9 is following new details in a deadly officer-involved shooting in Stillwater. Police gun down a man after the discovery of a body in the wake of a fire.

This is still developing.

Stillwater police wanted to question 43-year-old Ralph Willis. They say he lived in the apartment above the person who was found dead.

Police eventually spotted Willis at a Walmart on Perkins Rd., but that's when he took off on foot.

“About 12:30 we heard yelling, and we were in the back bedroom which is basically right next to the neighbors back yard,” said witness, Missy Gelder.

“It was one shot and he was dead,” said witness, Bert Kaiser.

Missy Gelder and Bert Kaiser could not believe what they were seeing.

“He jumped in the neighbor's backyard and the police ran to the back. I think there were three cops,” said Kaiser. “Two of them had tasers drawn, one of them had a gun. The one with the gun fired.

“They were yelling, and I saw one fire a shot,” said Gelder.

It ended in a neighbors backyard off Hwy 177 and East 3rd St.

But, OSBI investigators said it started at a duplex off W. Scott Street. Firefighters found a man's body in the downstairs apartment after a fire started upstairs.

“They determined that the person who lives upstairs is not in the area, that he was seen leaving the scene of the fire,” said OSBI spokeswoman, Jessica Brown.

And that's why police wanted to talk to Ralph Willis about his dead neighbor.

He took off on foot after being seen at Walmart leading police on the deadly chase.

“There was an aggressive move we believe by the person of interest, and that's when the person fired his weapon,” said Brown. “The suspect is dead at the scene.”

“We saw the officer as he shot, it was pretty crazy, you know, it was pretty wild,” said Kaiser. “We're not use to stuff like that around here.”

Stillwater police called in OSBI to lead the investigation.

Willis had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1993, including burglary, and two prison escapes.

Also, a woman who lived with Willis is in custody on outstanding warrants. She has been identified as Rachel Willis.


“Some of the information in the news story may have been provided by law enforcement with the request News 9 inform the public of, and/or assist in locating a person in connection with, a police investigation. News 9 can make no independent verification of the accuracy of the information, photographs and/or video provided to it by police or other law enforcement agencies.”


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