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Norman, Oklahoma — On April 7, Norman police were patrolling in the area of Alameda Street and 12th Avenue attempting to locate an individual, later identified as 49-year-old James Wesley Morrison, wanted for his role in a domestic disturbance with injury involving a possible weapon and a felony warrant for possession of a firearm after former felony conviction. Officers located a vehicle and Morrison matching the description of the outstanding individual. They attempted to initiate a traffic stop to confirm the identity of the Morrison in the 1600 block of Alameda Street at approximately 8:42 p.m. The vehicle initially stopped but quickly continued eastbound on Alameda Street, southbound on 24th Avenue SE, and then eastbound on State Highway 9.
During the course of the pursuit, Morrison was driving at a high rate of speed, at times in the lanes of oncoming traffic. While traveling on State Highway 9, officers attempted multiple unsuccessful tactical vehicle interventions (TVI). One temporarily stopped the vehicle near the intersection of 60th Avenue SE and State Highway 9. Once stopped, officers attempted to contact the occupants of the vehicle. Morrison continued attempting to get away impacting one officer’s patrol vehicle. During the course of the encounter, a single shot from an officer entered the vehicle and grazed the female occupant. The driver proceeded south on 60th Avenue SE from State Highway 9 where an additional TVI occurred disabling the vehicle.
As officers gave commands to the occupants, Morrison exited the vehicle with a firearm. He then pointed the firearm and fired at an officer. Four officers returned fire at Morrison stopping his actions. Officers and medical personnel immediately began rendering aid. Morrison passed away as a result of injuries sustained during the incident. Two other individuals were in the vehicle. A 61-year-old female was treated and released for injuries sustained during the course of the incident. A 30-year-old male was uninjured. These individuals had no criminal involvement in the incident.
The investigation indicates that Morrison had outstanding warrants for possession of a firearm after former felony conviction and driving under suspension. Investigators also learned that Morrison had made prior statements to family that he would not return to prison and that if he encountered law enforcement they would have to shoot him. The four officers involved in the incident are Master Police Officer Brian Browning, Master Police Officer Aaron Deese, Master Police Officer Jonatan Kieft, and Sgt. Michael Lauderback. The four officers will remain on routine administrative assignment pending the outcome of the investigation.
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