The Sunday morning shooting death by police of a man celebrating his 24th birthday remains under investigation.
The incident is the second fatal shooting by Lawton police investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) since November 2020.
Zonterious Johnson, 24, died from gunshot wounds suffered Sunday morning following an incident that began at Lavish Lounge, 1015 SW Park. He’d been celebrating his birthday at the club.
Johnson was killed following a foot chase that lasted two or three blocks after, investigators said, gunfire came from outside the club. A bullet hole through a double-paned window marked evidence of gunfire.
Johnson was taken to a local hospital where he died, according to the OSBI. A handgun was recovered from where Johnson fell.
Police arrived around 3:30 a.m. at the club to conduct a compliance check, investigators said. Club owner Seth Fleming said several officers were inside the venue when a gunshot erupted. He believes a round was fired by police inside the club.
The OSBI stated the gunshot came from outside the lounge.
The Constitution is awaiting a response to questions regarding the police presence at the club leading up to the fatal shooting.
Lawton police have directed all inquiries regarding Johnson’s death to the OSBI. If confirmed, his would be the first death by homicide reported in the city limits in 2021.
Brook Arbeitman, OSBI spokesperson, said there were no updates to the incident and it is still being “actively” investigated.
The shooting follows a Nov. 19, 2020, incident that left another man dead due to gunfire from police. It, too, had been under investigation by the OSBI.
Duane Scott Murray II, 30, of Lawton, was killed following an early-morning stand-off with police that lasted about an hour and ended with him pointing his weapon at police before being killed by a bullet to the head.
“Our investigation is complete,” Arbeitman said. “The next step in the process is for the District Attorney to review our report and determine if any charges should be filed.”
First Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka confirmed the report has been received by the DA Fred Smith’s office. Whether the shooting was a lawful use of force is being determined.
“We’re reviewing it now and will have a decision shortly,” he said.
LPD policy is for officers involved in a shooting incident be placed on administrative leave until the conclusion of an investigation.
Written by Scott Rains: firstname.lastname@example.org.