Oklahoma authorities fatally shoot man threatening officers

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is trying to determine if a man who appeared to be threatening officers with a gun was actually armed when they fatally shot him this week, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Two Claremore police officers and and a Rogers County deputy shot Bobby Joe Johnston, 40, on Wednesday as he ran at them “in a threatening manner” along Interstate 44 in Claremore, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tulsa, OSBI spokesperson Brooke Arbeitman said.

Johnston was taken to a hospital where he died, Arbeitman said.

Video from KOTV-TV shows Johnston running at armed officers, holding his hands in front of him as if pointing a handgun.

The OSBI declined to say whether Johnston was armed.

“That’s what we’re determining through the investigation,” Arbeitman said.

Johnston had broken into a woman’s home in Claremore, attacked her and stolen her phone and car, then led police on a short pursuit, Arbeitman said. Johnston eventually crashed the car and fled on foot into a wooded area then ran along the shoulder of the interstate toward officers, she said.

The shooting involves Native Americans and falls under the provisions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling, leaving jurisdiction to the FBI, but the federal agency asked the OSBI to lead the investigation, Arbeitman said. She did not know which party was Native American.

The OSBI will submit a report to the prosecuting attorney, who will decide whether the shooting was justified.

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