October 6, 2023

Name of trucker fatally shot by Oklahoma trooper still not released


Investigators still haven’t released the name of a truck driver who was fatally shot by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop that turned “physical” on the Turner Turnpike in Creek County on Sept. 20.

When asked about why the names of the truck driver and the trooper involved in the shooting have not been released after more than two weeks, Creek County District Attorney Max Cook said there’s no statutory requirement for when the report will be released “when we don’t have someone in custody.”

“The extra time is hopefully to be more thorough … to get it done accurately, rather than to try to get it done quickly,” Cook told FreightWaves on Thursday.

While he was at the scene of the shooting, Cook said he had never met the trooper and “didn’t recall his name right now.”

“He wasn’t the one that is regularly around here as far as I know,” Cook said.

The OHP has released few details about the shooting other than a media release stating that “a physical struggle ensued roadside and continued into the cab of the truck.” The trooper reportedly requested assistance with a K-9 deployment following the traffic stop in the eastbound lane at mile marker 183 near Stroud, Oklahoma. 

“The driver attempted to drive away with the trooper still engaged in a physical confrontation with [the truck driver],” the OHP news release said. “At approximately 8:35 a.m., the trooper advised the communications center shots had been fired.”

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of publication on Friday, Sarah Stewart, director of media operations for OHP, did not respond to FreightWaves’ requests seeking comment. 

In a previous interview, Stewart declined to comment on why the trooper called for K-9 backup. She also didn’t address questions about whether the trooper was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting or if the trooper’s dashcam recorded the altercation and shooting. The name of the trucking company also has not been released.

After OHP Troop Z, which processed the scene, completes its investigation, the evidence will be turned over to Cook to review, Stewart said. 

Cook said he hasn’t heard “whether it was Troop Z or some other arm of OHP” that is heading the investigation of the trooper-involved shooting. 

“I assume I’ll have a report and be able to have more access to more information than I have right now in the not-too-distant future,” Cook said.

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