A call about a suspicious vehicle ended with a highway patrol trooper shot to death. Now, eight years later, the murder is still on the minds of fellow troopers.
It was an incident that rocked the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and left three little girls and a mother without the man in their lives. Nearly a decade later, the power of a dash cam video still brings back fresh emotions from the day Trooper Nikky Green was murdered.
"I distinctly remember Nick's funeral," Capt. Chris West of OHP said. "There was about 3,000 people that were in attendance."
West fondly remembers Green. West served as an instructor during Green's academy in 1997.
"Nick was kind of a gentle giant," West said. "He was a tall strapping figure [and] very unassuming, a real good Christian man."
It was the day after Christmas in 2003 when Green's life came to an abrupt end. Green was informed of a suspicious car near Devol. When he arrived at the scene, he found the car to be a mobile meth lab on the side of the road.
Troopers say the man that killed Green was high on meth. Green's dash cam video recorded a struggle between Green and his murderer. Then, the dash cam recorded the trooper's last moments lying vulnerable on the ground before being shot in the head.
Prosecutors charged Ricky Ray Malone with Green's murder. He was found guilty of the crime and is currently on death row.
"We are family, so any time we lose a trooper, it's a big loss," West said.
It didn't take long for the loss to help create change in Oklahoma. Not long after Green's death, his widow, Linda, was instrumental in getting legislation passed that makes it more difficult for people to get the ingredients used in making meth.
"At the time it was one of the most toughest laws on the books in the country, and it still may be," West said.
On Monday, Trooper Green is remembered throughout the state and especially at his home in Southwest Oklahoma with a highway named in his honor.