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Handcuffed suspect pulls gun from waistband and opens fire on officers, police return fire killing the suspect

Handcuffed suspect pulls gun from waistband and opens fire on officers, police return fire killing the suspect

Handcuffed suspect pulls gun from waistband and opens fire on officers, police return fire killing the suspect
Photo Credit: Russell Mills

Handcuffed suspect pulls gun from waistband and opens fire on officers, police return fire killing the suspect

The Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation has been called in to investigate after a hand-cuffed suspect was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting.

It happened early this morning at a motel in Pryor.

Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed tells KRMG that one of his deputies and an off-duty Salina Police officer were part of a drug investigation that led them to the Days Inn in Pryor.

The deputy was dealing with an increasingly aggressive woman in the hallway of the motel. At the same time, the off-duty Salina officer was handcuffing 29-year-old Will Perneau of Tulsa inside a motel room.

When, the officer turned to assist the deputy, Perneau pullede a gun from his waistband, turned sideways and opened fire on officers.

Sheriff Reed tells KRMG that the Salina Police officer returned fire, killing Perneau.

Reed believes the shooting was justified. Reed says, "It's pretty straightforward. I feel like the officers did nothing wrong. They were fired upon and only after being fired upon did they return fire."

In the minutes before the officer-involved shooting, the Mayes County deputy and the off-duty Salina police officer riding with the deputy made a traffic stop in front of the Days Inn on Mid America Drive in Pryor just after 2 o’clock this morning.

The deputy and off-duty officer approached the vehicle and believed drugs were inside it.

The officers requested a drug K-9 from Choteau check the exterior of the vehicle because the officers suspected that drugs were in the vehicle.

The dog indicated to its handler drugs were inside. The officers searched the vehicle and found narcotics.

26-year-old Carl Don Thomas from Pryor and 41-year-old Robert William Rowbotham from Locust Grove were arrested on a complaint of possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance) with intent to distribute and booked into the Mayes County jail.

One of the two suspects told officers they were headed to a room at the Days Inn to meet with other people.

The officers went to that motel and to the specified room. The deputy and off-duty officer knocked on the door and announced who they were.

The officers could hear people inside the room talking, but those people refused to open the door. The same K-9 officer arrived at the scene and his dog alerted to the door of the motel room.

With that information, the officers requested the motel manager open the door. Inside the room were a man, later identified as Perneau, and woman. The woman complied with officer commands and was escorted outside the room.

The man, Will Perneau, did not comply. Officers took him to the ground and handcuffed him. Shortly after he was handcuffed, Perneau pulled a gun and fired at officers.

The Salina officer returned fire. Perneau was struck and died at the scene. The officers were not injured.

OSBI agents are gathering evidence and interviewing officers and any witnesses. Once the investigation is complete, agents will provide the district attorney with a report.

The district attorney will determine if the shooting was justified.

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