At least five Oklahoma City police officers are facing first-degree manslaughter charges in the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy who was reportedly trying to rob a convenience store.
What are the details?
On Nov. 23, Oklahoma City police officers responded to a call for an attempted armed robbery at an area convenience store. When officers arrived on the scene, they encountered the suspect, 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez.
Footage of the encounter has been released showing Rodriguez — who was armed when officers arrived on the scene — placing his weapon on the ground and appearing to cooperate with police.
“Show us your hands, sir,” cops can be heard telling the teen. “Nobody has to get hurt.”
Rodriguez can be seen lifting his shirt to show officers that he has a gun in tucked in the waistband of his jeans. He places the weapon on the ground as an officer shouts, “Get face-down on the ground!”
Rodriguez then seems to attempt a reach into his pocket in a motion that appears to be the act of removing something else.
Moments later, officers shoot Rodriguez at least 13 times, killing him.
The officers were placed on administrative leave immediately following the fatal shooting.
A probable cause affidavit states that the officers unnecessarily shot the 15-year-old after officers were “simultaneously giving him varying commands.”
The affidavit also notes that Rodriguez was not armed beyond the weapon he’d laid down on the ground at the officers’ commands.
“Stavian Rodriguez had no weapons on him other than the firearm, which he dropped prior to being shot,” the affidavit, obtained by NBC News, stated. “A cellphone was recovered from the left rear pocket he had his hand in at the time he was shot.”
Officers facing first-degree manslaughter charges include Bethany Sears, Brad Pemberton, Corey Adams, Jared Barton, and John Skuta. If convicted on the charges, the officers face life in prison.
A sixth officer, Sarah Carli, was the first to fire a “less lethal” weapon. She is not facing charges.
Investigators determined that after being shot with the “less-lethal” round, five officers “unnecessarily fire lethal rounds at Rodriguez, striking him numerous times and inflicting mortal wounds.”
Anything else to know?
A 17-year-old boy is also facing first-degree murder charges in connection to Rodriguez’s death after he admitted to being involved in the robbery, but happened to be there when cops fired on Rodriguez.
The Daily Mail noted that a suspect — or in this case, alleged accomplice — can face felony murder charges in Oklahoma if someone dies while certain felonies are being committed.
The teen, Wyatt Cheatham, is being held without bond in the Oklahoma County Jail.
Content warning: Though the victim is not shown, this is video of the gunfire that resulted in the death of Stavian Rodriguez:
Videos of fatal OKC police shooting released