Oklahoma City, OK — As TFTP reported on Sunday, a rather disturbing scene unfolded in Oklahoma City as police officers attempting to kill a robbery suspect opened fire on four small children, shooting three of them. Now, the family and residents are demanding answers.
Not until Thursday, six days after the shooting, did police release any information as to what happened. While they have refused to elaborate on any video of the incident, we now know that the suspect William Devaughn Smith, 21, did not fire on police before police opened fire on the truck full of children. Also, we now know that police were in an unmarked car and not in uniform when they approached Smith.
According to police, they saw Smith in his pickup truck with the four children last Friday and when they made contact with him, they began shooting after he tried to flee. Police claim that Smith attempted to run them over with the truck. However, as TFTP has reported on countless occasions, this defense is used all the time when cops could’ve simply stepped to the side and allowed the driver to leave — especially if there are four small children inside.
“As they tried to approach the suspect, there was an incident that happened. An officer involved shooting took place,” said OSBI Spokeswoman Jenny Virden last weekend.
On Thursday, police identified the officers involved as Hugo Police Department detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen. Both of the officers were in an unmarked car and in plainclothes when they approached Smith. The officers are now on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
As we reported, during the shooting, police apparently didn’t care about or didn’t see the children in the pickup truck and so three of them were shot, along with Smith.
After shooting three children, police took to the press to point out the fact that not all of the children were shot as one of them luckily came out unscathed.
“I don’t know what these injuries are. And then one child, from what I understand was not injured,” said Virden.
“I mean my children, for crying out loud. Four innocent little children,” said the mother of the injured children Olivia Hill.
Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, who is representing the family, pointed out the obvious noting that if Smith saw two armed men coming at him in plainclothes, he likely had no idea they were police.
“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”
According to police, Smith allegedly “struck” one of the officers with his truck before they opened fire. However, this alleged strike was not enough to seriously injure the officer, according to a press release.
“After the suspect struck the front of the undercover police vehicle, it continued going backwards until it came to rest after running into some steel poles supporting an overhead awning between the buildings. Only after the detectives approached the car and looked inside did they discover the four children in the back seat,” the statement said.
Luckily, the three children who were shot have all been released from the hospital, but Solomon-Simmons said, “there is a lot of physical and emotional pain.”
“They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” he said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’ It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury.”
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” Hill said. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
According to The Frontier, investigation records show Jenkins has been involved in at least one other shooting in the past few years — the fatal December 2014 shooting of William Lee Honea, 33, in Hugo. That shooting was ruled justified by the district attorney, but resulted in a civil lawsuit against the city of Hugo, Choctaw County and others that was settled late last year for an undisclosed amount of money.
“How am I supposed to tell my kids that the people who are supposed to protect them are the ones that shot them?” father of the children, Quin Jacobs said.