Lawton_Good Morning Texoma broke the news of an officer firing fatal shots that killed 25-year-old Marcell Johnson late Thursday night. Since that time, 7News has learned more about case from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation(OSBI). Lawton police have identified the officer as Luis Pagan, who has been on the force for about one year. The OSBI says Pagan shot and killed Johnson during a traffic stop near 13th and Summit, and investigators and Johnson's family still have a lot of questions about what led to the shooting.
The OSBI says that Officer Pagan saw Johnson driving recklessly near 11th and Lee on Thursday night, and instead of the incident turning into a normal traffic stop, it took a turn for the worse. Richard Goss with the OSBI says Pagan managed to pull Johnson over. "At one point the vehicle actually stopped and backed up, attempting to ram the officer's vehicle," said Goss. "He took some defensive maneuvers - backed up himself."
Investigators say that Pagan told them that Johnson then drove off, leading to a low speed pursuit. "The driver was observed reaching for objects inside the car - rummaging inside the car," said Goss. After a few blocks, Johnson pulled over at 13th and Summit. "The officer reports that he [Johnson] advanced toward the officer, and he apparently reported to his superiors that he saw a light object in the man's hand," said Goss. "At that time he fired three shots - two of them striking, Marcell Johnson, one of them struck the car."
Goss says that no guns were recovered at the scene, and it is not clear if Johnson was armed or what he may have had in his hands - if anything. "Those are some of the things we're looking at right now, is what commands the officer might have given to Johnson," said Goss. "Whether he obeyed those commands, or disobeyed those commands."
Goss says two civilians witnessed the shooting and have been interviewed by investigators. He says no other police officers were present at the time of the shooting. Johnson's family says they believe the shooting was unjustified.
The OSBI has impounded the car Johnson was driving to determine if contains evidence linked to the case. Goss says he cannot comment on what witnesses are saying happened. Officer Pagan is on routine leave until the OSBI's investigation is complete. It will be up to the district attorney to determine whether the shooting was justified.
Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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