Norman police have identified an armed man who was shot by an officer Sunday morning.
According to police, at about 11:30 a.m. a family member called the department to report that the suspect, 34-year-old Martin Sanchez-Juarez, was out of control and “breaking stuff.”
The first officer on the scene saw Sanchez-Juarez walking in the 1300 block of 24th Avenue SW. Preliminary information indicates that Sanchez-Juarez refused to comply with the female officer's commands to drop the hammer he was carrying.
Police said Sanchez-Juarez continued to walk towards the officer, who then took cover behind the police car. The officer said the suspect continued to approach her and knocked the driver's side mirror off the police car with the hammer. That's when the officer fired her weapon. Based on witness statements and physical evidence, investigators determined that Sanchez-Juarez was shot three times.
Sanchez-Juarez remains in critical condition at the OU Medical Center. Norman police said they will release the officer's identity next Wednesday.
The officer remains on paid administrative assignment pending the completion of the investigation.
Norman Chief of Police, Keith Humphrey, released the following statement regarding the incident,
“The Norman Police Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life within the City. Our department is also committed to being transparent to all community partners. I believe the timely release of preliminary details, if feasible, of major incidents reduces rumors or adverse perceptions toward law enforcement.
Although the investigation is in its early stages, it is important for me as the chief of police to ensure our community that a thorough investigation of the actions of the officer and suspect is being conducted. At this time, I have no reason to doubt that the actions of the officer involved were justified. This investigation, just as any other incident in which force is used, will not be rushed. Both an internal and criminal investigation are being investigated concurrently, and our department takes the use of any amount of force used by our officers very seriously. We also believe that it is vital that we reassure our community that members of NPD will not abuse or damage the trust that our citizens have placed in us.”