LAWTON, Okla._Friends and family of Daniel Martin, the man killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday, say despite the events that unfolded that morning, they're choosing to remember him in a more positive light.
Michael Carrillo worked with Martin at Edison Elementary and said Martin recently resigned so he could work on his bucket list. The two worked with Special Education kids and Carrillo says Martin was always the life of the party.
She said Martin could always bring a smile to your face. She also noted that he was a veteran, and that helped him connect with many students at the school who had family in the military. Carrillo says even though he had resigned from the school, many students still remember him and she wants them and the rest of the community to remember him as the man he was.
"I don't want him to be portrayed as a bad guy, because he worked so well with them, and taught them what was right from wrong. I don't want any of them to think he's done something wrong in this manner. This situation is what it is, but there is no reason to bad mouth or bad him at this point because we weren't there, we don't know what happened," said Carrillo.
Carrillo remembers Martin as a guy who would dress up during every spirit week at the school. A man who would pocket the bill for kids who couldn't afford to play sports but now she sees people thinking he was a criminal.
"He was not violent at all, he was amazing. There was never anybody was ever fearful of him at all. He wasn't scary, he wasn't aggressive, he wasn't any of those things," said Carrillo.
She spoke about Martin's wife who was also in the military. When Martin resigned, the two were excited about spending more time together and Carrillo can't imagine how she is holding up.
"My heart breaks for her, and his mother. I can't even fathom what they are going through. I am sure she is so beside herself, because like I said, this was a new beginning for them. They were at that point where they finally just had each other," said Carrillo.
Carrillo is unsure if she'll ever know what really happened that morning, but she thinks it could have been a moment where both sides were just being cautious of who was on the other side of the door.
"In that moment, in that time, in that second, we all have a right to defend ourselves. If that is the case then, I mean, if it's justified it's justified. So I'm not going to bash the police for doing their job by any means," said Carrillo.
She hopes that with it being spring break, it will help the students Martin had mentored. She's not sure on how she's going to help them when school starts back up.