Three Oklahoma children were shot in the head and face while police attempted to catch a robbery suspect.
The Associated Press reports two Hugo Police Department officers involved in the April 26 shooting are on paid leave pending an investigation. Late last month, Detective Billy Jenkins and Detective Chad Allen spotted wanted Pizza Hut robbery suspect 21-year-old William Devaughn Smith.
He was parked in a food center moments before the officers approached, and shots rang out. According to local news source KFOR News 4, four children were in the car with Smith at the time of the shooting.
Officers fired, wounding three of the children and Smith. The children suffered wounds to the head and face while the suspect suffered undisclosed injuries.
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” Olivia Hill, the children's mother, told KXII-TV. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
The five, four and 1-year-old children were taken to a Tulsa-area hospital where they were treated. As of this report, they have been released.
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Since the shooting, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) opened an investigation into the officers involved.
Investigators said Smith and Hill have a relationship of some nature, KFOR News 4 reports. They are still determining if the police officers knew the children were in the car.
“What happened between the contact with him and when police fired, we’re still trying to put that together,” the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Brook Arbeitman said. “The OSBI is still investigating whether he fired at police and whether he was armed.”
There are still lingering details around the case OSBI investigators have yet to learn. They are not sure what initiated the shooting.
In the meantime, Smith was transported to a Texas hospital and then will be transferred to a Texas jail.
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