District 22 District Attorney Paul Smith ruled Friday the use of deadly force in a September officer-involved shooting was justified, saying the ruling should serve to exonerate four Ada police officers.
In a two-page letter to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation and Ada Police Chief Carl Allen, Smith said he came to the conclusion "after a thorough briefing of the matter, review of the details in depth, reviewing officer and citizen interviews, and being fully advised in the facts and the law." Smith said the actions taken by Ada police officers Marcus Beale, Michael Meeks, Phillip Vogt and Ussely Canada during the Sept. 21 incident were consistent with state laws justifying the use of deadly force.
Police were called to the home of 29-year-old Ada resident Jeffrey Peterson Sept. 21 regarding an ongoing domestic disturbance. Upon their arrival, authorities say, the dispute escalated and Peterson was shot and killed by police. According to an OSBI statement, an altercation broke out as officers tried to speak with Peterson. During the altercation, investigators say, Peterson allegedly tried to grab one of the officer's guns.
"The circumstances of this chaotic event justify the actions (of the officers), given the nature of the scene and the shouts of 'He has my gun! He's going for my gun! He's going for my gun! He's getting my gun!' being sounded by officers in close proximity and entangled in physical force with (Peterson) as he physically showed movement indicating his attempt to complete the drawing of the weapon from the officer's holster, lifting the same repeatedly," Smith wrote. "While all of law enforcement regrets the loss of life involved in this matter, the investigation bears out that the taking of that life was justified, necessary and lawful under these gripping circumstances."
Ada Public Information Director Lisa Bratcher said Friday police are still waiting on a toxicology report from the medical examiner to determine whether Peterson was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the incident.