Thursday, September 13, 2007


Deadly shot was fired by rookie

‘A Noble boy’s parents were pleased charges were filed over their son being killed by a police bullet intended for a snake. But the charges don’t ease the pain of their loss, they said. [..]

Officer Paul Bradley Rogers, 34, and Sgt. Robert Shawn Richardson, 29, are accused of causing the death of Austin Haley, 5, by negligently firing at a snake. A bullet ricocheted and hit the child while he was outside fishing with his grandfather, investigators said.

Rogers, an officer in training, fired the shot that killed Austin. Rogers only had been on the Noble police force about a month, District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Friday. Richardson, Rogers’ supervisor, gave the order to shoot, officials said.

Mashburn said the decision to charge the officers is one of the most difficult he’s made.

“I conclude that these officers failed to do something that a reasonably careful person would do by firing a weapon at a nonpoisonous snake that was stuck in a birdhouse without knowing what laid behind their location,” he said.’

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