Sand Springs Police Release Video of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

Sep 9, 2019

Sand Springs Police Lt. Kevin O'Keefe's body camera captured video of his Sept. 1, 2019, pursuit and shooting of 49-year-old Robert Dejarlais Jr.
Credit Sand Springs Police

Sand Springs Police Department released body camera video Monday from a deadly officer-involved shooting Labor Day weekend.

Lt. Kevin O’Keefe chased a white Hyundai Veloster about 4 miles after it nearly struck a curb the evening of Sept. 1, 2019, ending up face-to-face with the car off 145th West Avenue while taking cover behind his patrol car door.

Warning: Video shows a police shooting and contains strong language.

The video shows the Hyundai drive toward O'Keefe. Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter said O’Keefe only fired when the Hyundai pinned him between his car and door.

"It’s not a perception thing. It’s a, 'I’m being hurt.' And then when that action stopped, so did the shooting," Carter said.

Robert Dejarlais Jr., 49, was killed in the shooting. Under a 2016 agreement, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations is reviewing it.

O'Keefe is on paid leave at least until the OSBI investigation is complete.

Carter said their pursuit policy discourages officers from blocking in suspects, and O’Keefe followed that. Carter said there was enough room on either side of O'Keefe's patrol car for Dejarlais to pass without hitting it.

"There was two paths that this person could have come and not come into contact with the vehicle, and that wasn’t chosen," Carter said.

Carter did not comment on Dejarlais' mental state or whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. O'Keefe was not seriously hurt. Carter said his patrol car door started to bend, likely sparing him any severe crush injury.

"I repeat our condolences to the family of Mr. Robert Dejarlais Jr. I do not know why he made the choices he did that day, and I will not speculate about them. I will also say that we’re thankful that Lt. O’Keefe was not killed or seriously injured that day,"

Sand Springs Police typically releases video of use-of-force incidents within 72 hours. Carter said there was confusion whether the department or OSBI was responsible for that.

Carter let Dejarlais' family watch the video before releasing it to the public. The full video shows Dejarlais' body being pulled from the car, but Carter asked that portion not be shown out of respect to the family.

The video goes on to show an officer leading O'Keefe away from the shooting scene and telling him to turn off his body camera once they are away from Dejarlais' car and other officers.

Sand Springs Police Department said the shooting is O'Keefe's only use of deadly force in 20 years of service.