, Muskogee, OK

January 2, 2014

Police officer shoots man

Passenger reportedly grabbed for officer’s gun

By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Editor’s note: Lapses in the radio traffic when there was no activity have been removed.

Two Muskogee police officers were placed on routine administrative leave Thursday after an officer-involved shooting.

The shooting, which is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, occurred during a traffic stop shortly before 12:30 p.m. near Fourth and Elgin streets. One officer initiated the stop after he noticed the car matched the description of one reported earlier in the day to him as being “stolen out of Muskogee.”

Cpl. Michael Mahan said the Ford Escort targeted for the stop was occupied by a driver and two passengers. The officer who initiated the stop reportedly was interviewing Marvin Green, the driver, and one of the passengers, Thomas Estes, 32, of Muskogee, allegedly lunged for the officer’s firearm, which discharged during the struggle.

“While officers were attempting to take one of the passengers into custody, that passenger became combative with the two officers on scene,” Cpl. Michael Mahan said. “During the ensuing struggle the passenger attempted to disarm one of the officers, (and) the second officer on scene then shot that individual.”

Estes was transported by ambulance to EASTAR Health System and subsequently transported to an St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, where he underwent surgery. He was being treated for what emergency medical workers described as a life-threatening injury, but there was no information about his condition.

Police refused to release the names of the officers or the female passenger taken in for questioning. The female passenger was later released. Mahan said Green was booked into the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility on a complaint of receiving stolen property.

Kimbra Scott, a spokeswoman for the city, said she met briefly with the officers immediately after the shooting occurred. Scott said the officers were “visibly shaken but appeared to be fine.”

Interim City Manager Roy Tucker said both officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the OSBI investigation. Based upon preliminary information he received, Tucker said it appears both officers acted “in accordance with their training and department policy.”

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or