Some Allen residents are asking questions about the use of force employed by state troopers during an overnight stand-off that left an Allen man dead Wednesday.
The shooting occurred in the early morning hours Wednesday, before sunrise. As neighbors awoke and began their day, they discovered the condition of the home at 301 South 4th Street in Allen, where the shooting occurred. The house sustained extensive damage during the incident, leaving Allen residents with questions about what happened there during the night.
Late Tuesday morning, Allen police say they attempted to stop Sean Michael Taylor, 33, of Allen, for running a stop sign, but when officers approached Taylor, he drove off. Allen Police Chief Darrel Armstrong said Taylor led police on a chase through the area before driving to his home and barricading himself inside
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said the suspect threatened to shoot deputies and police prior to barricading himself inside the home.
In a prepared statement, Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials said Armstrong requested the assistance of the OHP Tactical Team shortly after Taylor barricaded himself inside the home.
OHP officials said Allen police obtained a felony warrant for Taylor’s arrest for “assault upon a police officer with a dangerous weapon, felony eluding, and terroristic threats to a police officer, which were all pursuant to the aforementioned pursuit.”
Troopers then attempted to convince Taylor to leave the house.
“Crisis negotiators made contact with Taylor, but he refused to comply with requests,” OHP officials said in the statement released Wednesday. “During this incident, Taylor pointed a long gun at police. Shots were ultimately fired by a member of the Tactical Team, which struck Taylor. Taylor succumbed to the injuries sustained and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The trooper who fired the shots will be place on paid administrative leave while Troop Z (Investigations Division) conducts the investigation.”
The following morning, neighbors discovered the extent of the damage inflicted upon the home during the night.
In response to our inquiries regarding the damage to the home, an Oklahoma Department of Public Safety spokesperson cited a law enforcement practice known as “porting.”
“‘Porting’ is a tactic recognized by the National Tactical Officers Association and sometimes utilized by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Tactical Team,” the spokesperson said. “It is defined as the breaching and/or removal of all obstructions/barriers within a window, door or wall and/or similar opening to allow operators to enter (a) location, deploy (a) Flash Sound Diversionary Device and/or safely observe and cover a room’s interior and any occupants from outside the location after porting.
“A suspect’s actions dictate the measures our tac team is forced to use. And all methods are utilized with the ultimate goal of bringing a situation to a peaceful end. Unfortunately, property damage is sometimes a side effect when the top priority is officer as well as suspect safety.”
The incident remains under investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.