The Norman Transcript

Local news

August 4, 2007

‘He was a special boy’

By Tony Pennington

Transcript Staff Writer

NOBLE – The boat dock on the family pond was a favorite spot for Jack Tracy and his six grandchildren.

Tracy often would gather the children in his all-terrain vehicle and travel the more than 100 yards from his home to the watering hole. There the clan would feed the fish or drop a line in the water among the numerous trees, constant hum of insects, irregular splashes of fish breaking the surface and the cawing and chirping of various birds.

This once pristine setting has become tainted following a Friday evening shooting that left Tracy’s grandson Austin Haley, 5, dead and at least one Noble police officer on administrative leave.

“There was no reason to discharge a firearm,” proclaimed Tracy Saturday afternoon mere feet from the boat dock where Austin was struck by a stray bullet.

Fighting the tears visible in his eyes, Tracy continued, “He killed my grandbaby. I wish he killed me.”

Austin died Friday evening at Norman Regional Hospital following injuries he sustained when a rogue bullet struck him in the head. The 5-year-old, who would have attended kindergarten at Katherine I. Daily Elementary School in Noble in a few weeks, was at the pond with Tracy, his great-grandfather Jim Gillum and younger brother Dalton, 2.

According to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials a Noble police officer fired his weapon twice at a residence in the 300 block of Crest Lane in Noble. The rooftops of the houses on Crest Lane can been seen from the boat dock.

The officer, whose name has not been released by the Noble police department, was responding to a call sometime around 8 p.m. about a snake trapped in a birdhouse. The animal is believed to have been a “cotton mouth” or “water moccasin” — a poisonous water snake. It was then the officer allegedly unholstered his firearm and expelled two rounds.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

  • Bridge Businesses try to survive while bridge is closed

    Ray Cole wonders every day if his business will have to close. Cole is one of many Lexington and Purcell business owners struggling financially since the 76-year-old James C. Nance Memorial Bridge closed Jan. 31. The Oklahoma Department ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:03 a.m. vandalism, 100 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 6:42 a.m. burglary report, 300 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 9:21 a.m. vandalism, 1500 block of North ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jason Ashley Shannon, 35, possession of controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia; driving with a ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Bail set for one more in homicide

    A hearing for the state’s motion to hold two suspects without bail in connection with the homicide of Justin Barnard, 24, of Norman, was continued Monday in Cleveland County District Court. Special Judge Steve Stice overruled the motion ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Courses bring unprecedented enrollment

    University students majoring in engineering, science and mathematics typically enroll in college-level computer courses, like computational thinking and computer programming. Now, with Janux online courses offered at the University of ...

    April 15, 2014