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November 19, 2013

Witness: Teen running when shot by Oklahoma officer

OKLAHOMA CITY — The friend of a teenager who was fatally shot by an Oklahoma police captain testified Tuesday that the unarmed 18-year-old was running away when the officer began firing at him.

“It surprised me very much,” John Lockett, 17, testified on the first day of testimony in the trial of Del City police Capt. Randy Harrison, who is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the March 14, 2012, death of Dane Scott Jr.

Lockett said he was a passenger in a car driven by Scott when Harrison pulled up behind them in a police car with lights flashing. Lockett said Scott led Harrison on a high-speed chase and tried to hide the marijuana and gun he had in the car.

Scott, who had recently been released from a juvenile detention center for selling drugs, “just started to panic,” Lockett said.

Lockett said he and a second passenger pleaded with Scott to let them out during the chase that he said reached speeds of up to 100 mph. The car eventually crashed into a tractor-trailer.

Lockett said Scott and Harrison scuffled on the ground after the collision before Scott wriggled free. As soon as Scott started running away, Harrison started shooting at him, Lockett said.

Authorities said Scott fired four shots, fatally striking Lockett in the back.

According to a police affidavit, Scott was unarmed and posed no threat of death or great bodily harm at the time of the shooting.

But defense attorney Doug Friesen said Harrison’s use of deadly force was justified by Scott’s actions before he was shot.

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