Family Says Man Killed By OKC Police Officer Was Innocent

Sunday, April 22nd 2012, 7:08 pm
By: News 9

By Deanne Stein, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The family of a man shot and killed by an Oklahoma City police officer Saturday night speaks out about what happened.

Police at the scene say the man killed was a suspect in two disturbances in the area. It happened around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Willow Cliff Apartments located just off N.W. 50th Street.

4/21/2012 Related Story: Officer Shoots, Kills Man At Northwest OKC Apartment Complex

The man killed, according to his family, was 28-year-old Bobby Truelove.

"It's unreal, unbelievable," said Chad Glasgow, Truelove's cousin. "He didn't deserve this, he was a good person, good father. Everyone loved him and he loved everyone."

Police say they received two separate calls Saturday night, one for a disturbance at the Willow Cliff Apartment Complex and the other call for someone breaking out car windows nearby. Police believe those two calls involved the same suspect. When the officer responded to Willow Cliff Apartments, police say the officer found the suspect in the parking lot, where he resisted arrest.

"During the struggle, the officer tried to use less lethal measures and tasered him," said Captain Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department. "The suspect overcame the taser and the struggle continued. The officer was assaulted and deadly force was used."

But Truelove's family says the officer had the wrong man and that the young father was going through some emotional problems, not breaking into cars.

"He was having a nervous breakdown," said Glasgow. "He was real emotional and when the cops stopped him and started roughin' him up, he was so emotional he didn't know what was going on."

Glasgow said during Truelove's breakdown, he did break a window in his grandmother's apartment. The family said they called for an ambulance for Truelove, not the police.

But when police arrived, family and witnesses say the officer targeted Truelove as he was walking back to his grandmother's apartment to pick up his 13-month-old daughter.

"The officer got him down and he was on his stomach for a minute, and then got flipped over somehow," said Connie Sughure, a witness to the shooting. "Next thing I know, the officer drew his gun and shot him twice and I'm like ‘Oh my God, he just killed this kid.'"

"They got the two people mixed up, basically," said Mark Houston, Truelove's cousin who witnessed the shooting. "It got way out of control and the cop panicked, basically killed my cousin for no reason."

Now, the family is just trying to make sense out of what happened.

"I just want justice done for my cousin," said Houston. "He didn't deserve to go out like this."

Police said the officer involved was treated for unknown injuries and will be placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.