The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 9, 2007

Officers involved in Noble shooting fired

By Julianna Parker

Transcript Staff Writer

NOBLE — All three officers involved in the accidental shooting death of a 5-year-old boy were fired late last week for “just cause,” the city manager said Tuesday.

“Late last week I did issue termination letters to those officers involved in the shooting,” City Manager Bob Wade said.

Wade said they were terminated for “just cause,” but would not say exactly what that meant or release the city’s investigation documents.

“Obviously it’s based on a full investigation of the events and their (the officers’) comments,” he said.

The three were fired because of their actions or inactions when they responded to an animal control call that led to one officer shooting at a snake in a birdhouse. A bullet from the gun struck and killed 5-year-old Austin Haley, who was fishing at a pond with family members.

Brad Rogers, 34, and Shawn Richardson, 29, were charged with second-degree manslaughter last month.

Rogers, who had been at the Noble Police Department about a month, reportedly fired the gun. Richardson was the supervising officer at the scene.

The other officer at the scene was Michele Key. She responded to the animal control call first and then called the other two officers for backup, according to court documents submitted in the manslaughter charge.

She was not charged with anything, but was fired by the city along with the other two officers.

“Based on the investigation, on her actions and inactions on that night and her record as a police officer here,” the city decided to fire her, Wade said.

The officers were given a chance to respond to the investigation at individual hearings last week, Wade said.

The letters of termination were mailed last Friday, but Wade refused to reveal the terminations until Tuesday so the officers could be notified first, he said.

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