Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

August 14, 2013

Parents who lost son to stray police bullet want law changed

(Continued)

NOBLE, Okla. —

Haley said she and her husband, Jack, have already started the process of trying to change the state law. They've talked to state senators and representatives, and they hoped to get a meeting with Gov. Mary Fallin.

"We can't let this go on," she said. "It just isn't right."

Haley said that on the day of the shooting, the officers never asked if anyone was behind the birdhouse where Rogers was shooting. The officers didn't know that Austin was down at the family's pond with his grandfather and younger brother. 

"The first shot went between my dad's legs while he stood there on the dock," Haley said, adding that her dad felt the bullet move his pants and saw it land in the pond in front of him. "He started screaming, 'Stop, don't shoot! There’s someone down here!'"

About six seconds later, there was a second shot fired, which again missed the snake but traveled through the back of Austin's head, killing him. 

Haley said said while they understand the officer didn't point his gun at their son, they still don't see it as an accident.

"They can become police officers again," she said. "No one in the city of Noble would want that."

Jessica Bruha is a reporter for The Norman Transcript in Norman, Okla.

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