Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has filed a second-degree murder charge against OKCPD Sgt. Keith Sweeney for the Nov. 15 shooting of a suicidal man named Dustin Pigeon.
Prater’s office released a statement to the media this morning, noting he will speak at a 2:30 p.m. press conference in the Oklahoma County office building.
“The charges of Murder II, or in the alternative, Manslaughter I, were filed after review of the investigation by the Oklahoma City Police Department of the circumstances surrounding the death of Dustin Robert Pigeon,” the release said.
The mutual charges of second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter mean Sweeney’s level of culpability, if convicted, would be determined by a jury.
Sweeney shot Pigeon at a south Oklahoma City apartment complex after Pigeon had doused himself in lighter fluid and was allegedly attempting to light himself on fire. Another officer had shot Pigeon with a bean-bag shotgun, but Pigeon was still attempting to immolate himself.
OKCPD homicide detective Cris Cunningham described the scenario in his probable cause affidavit (embedded below).
When officers arrived, they made contact with Dustin Pigeon in the grassy area in front of 1416 S.W. 20th (Street). Pigeon was holding a bottle of lighter fluid, and a lighter, threatening to set himself on fire.
During the encounter Officer T. Nitzky deployed a less lethal bean bag shotgun striking Dustin Pigeon in the left hip. Sergeant K. Sweeney discharged his duty weapon striking Pigeon multiple times. Pigeon was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation into this incident concluded Dustin Pigeon was not armed and not a threat to the officers when he was shot by Sgt. Sweeney. After presenting the investigation to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office, it was determined the use of deadly force, by Sergeant Keith Sweeney, against Dustin Pigeon was not justified.
On the document below, 13 witnesses are listed. Sweeney is a nine-year veteran of the OKCPD, according to a story about the incident originally reported by KFOR.