A Wagoner Police officer’s use of deadly force in a Nov. 11 shooting has been ruled justified, according to a release from District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp.
“After reviewing the investigation in its entirety, it is my decision that charges against Mr. Buddy Rose will be declined, as I believe that his actions and the use of deadly force against Mr. Elisha Kelly were justified under Oklahoma law, specifically 21 O.S. 732,” Thorp wrote in the release, a letter to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Dale Fine.
Rose shot Kelly after a series of erratic and aggressive behaviors, Thorp writes, which included Kelly approaching the officer with an object held behind his back while stating, “I’m Jesus Christ, you’re going to die boy. I decided today is the day you’re going to die, boy.”
“It should be noted that Elisha Kelly’s son was in the vehicle, and he believed that Kelly (his father) was a ‘threat’ to the officer,” Thorp writes. “He also told law enforcement that his father had been acting erratically since the evening before and had been making statements about ‘demons and other religious based things.’ A civilian happened upon the encounter, and corroborates the account given by Officer Rose.”
Rose initially tried to pull Kelly over for driving erratically and dangerously, the release states. Kelly’s driving grew more erratic as he apparently attempted to elude Rose, striking a cement barrier and a parked vehicle before eventually coming to a rolling stop, according to the release.
Kelly emerged from the vehicle and began shaking his hands at Rose, who ordered him to get on the ground, the release says. Kelly eventually complied, getting to his knees amid objects that dropped from his truck when he opened the door. As Rose approached, intending to secure Kelly, Kelly shook his head and stood back up, grabbing items from the ground, then reached inside his truck and placed his hands on the driver’s seat.
After Rose ordered Kelly to show his hands again, Kelly refused, hiding what turned out to be a green tape measure in his left hand, the release states. Kelly then began his approach, telling Rose that the officer was going to die.
It wasn’t until Kelly drew within striking distance and lunged at Rose that Rose fired his weapon, striking Kelly in the chest, the release asserts. Kelly fell after he was shot, letting go of the tape measure while Rose called for medical assistance, Thorp writes. Kelly later died from his wounds.