OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — A southeast Oklahoma City man was seriously wounded by gunfire from Oklahoma City Police Department officers Friday when he pointed what appeared to be a real gun at the police helicopter.
Spokespersons with the department told Free Press that after the encounter was over officers found that the weapon was, in fact, a pellet gun that looked like a gun that fires bullets.
The man, Darren Soloman (DOB: 9-14-1970), was taken to the OU Medical Center where he underwent surgery and lived.
MSgt. Gary Knight with OKCPD told Free Press that Soloman went through another surgery Monday and remains in the hospital. Knight had no information on the current condition of Soloman.
The OKCPD Tactical Unit and Bomb Squad went to the home at 15405 Haley Drive in far southeast Oklahoma City Friday around 4:30 p.m. to serve a search warrant and an arrest warrant for “two counts of manufacturing and incendiary device” and one count of “manufacturing an explosive device” according to a press release.
The OKCPD helicopter was supporting the operation.
According to the police narrative, as officers approached to serve the warrants, Soloman stepped out “armed with what appeared to be a pistol.”
He “assumed a shooter’s stance and aimed the pistol at the police helicopter which was circling overhead.”
Soloman was then shot by members of the Tactical Team with their rifles.
MSgt Knight told TV reporters soon after the shooting Friday that Soloman had fired on the helicopter. But, Monday he told us that it is “inconclusive” if Soloman actually fired what they now know to be the pellet gun at the helicopter.
Public Information Officer Captain Valerie Littlejohn explained to Free Press that helicopters have little if any armor and are made of light materials. She said that pointing a weapon at the helicopter is endangering the officers in it directly by gunfire or indirectly by possibly disabling the helicopter and causing a crash.
She said that the other officers on the ground fired on Soloman to defend the officers in the helicopter because they believed the gun he had was one that fired lethal rounds.
Officers involved in the shooting were MSgt. Michael Pribble and SSgt. Trevor Wauters.
In addition to the real-looking pellet gun, an investigation of the property revealed “materials consistent with the manufacture of improvised explosive devices” according to the press release.
Last Updated May 16, 2022, 5:33 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor