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At a press conference this afternoon, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater played body camera footage of OKCPD Sgt. Keith Sweeney’s fatal shooting of Dustin Pigeon.

Prater announced a second-degree murder charge with an optional finding of first-degree manslaughter against Sweeney earlier in the day, saying that Pigeon was unarmed and was threatening to light himself on fire.

Prater noted that two of the three Oklahoma City Police Department officers who responded to the call acted appropriately and attempted to deescalate the situation.

But the third officer who arrived on the scene, Sweeney, appeared to escalate the scenario, screaming additional commands. Only a second before firing five shots, he yelled: “I will fucking shoot you, get on the ground!”

In the videos, Sweeney is heard after the shooting speaking to the other officers, “I didn’t know you had a beanbag.” He was referring to a bean-bag shotgun that another officer fired a split second before Sweeney fired his handgun.

Sweeney made other statements after the shooting that were recorded on video, and Prater addressed them Tuesday.

“You heard Officer Sweeney say, ‘Is that a knife in his hand?’ I will tell you this, and this is the only thing I will say about the statement of the officers. This is what led to the charges being filed on Officer Sweeney,” Prater said. “Officer Sweeney said — when asked why he fired his weapon — he said, ‘He had a knife in his hand. I felt like my life was in danger.’ And it will be a jury’s decision and duty to determine exactly the truth and veracity of that statement and whether or not it’s supported by the facts.”

Prater also answered a question about whether one officer’s firing of a bean-bag shotgun could have triggered Sweeney into discharging his weapon.

“What you’re referring to is what we normally would call ‘sympathetic fire,'” Prater said. “Mr. Sweeney, in his statement, indicated that he never heard the beanbag shotgun go off, so it was not sympathetic fire. It was not in response to any gunshot or report that he had heard.”

Prater said Sweeney was currently in custody Tuesday and was expected be formally represented by an attorney soon.

OKC Fraternal Order of Police issues statement

Shortly after Prater’s press conference concluded, the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police released a statement from its president, John George.

“Police officers are routinely placed in dangerous situations where they must quickly make life-or-death decisions. We caution citizens against jumping to conclusions until the facts are fully presented,” George said in the press release. “At this time, the FOP is not privy to the findings of the criminal investigation, and the video released today is only one piece of the puzzle. We hope to have more information about the particulars of this tragic situation soon.

“The FOP will always support members who act in good faith under the policies of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the law. We know these are trying times for Sgt. Sweeney and his family, and we’re here for them. We also offer our sympathy to Mr. Pigeon’s family and loved ones.”

Body camera footage from OKCPD officer Eric Howell

(Update: This story was updated at 4:05 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5, to include John George’s quotes and the body camera footage of OKCPD officer Eric Howell.)

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William W. Savage III holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.