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Video, audio detail trooper-involved fatal shooting

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DERRICK JAMES | Staff photo

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers involved in the July 17 fatal shooting of 35-year-old Mark Anson Schoggins were ruled to be justified in using deadly force Thursday.

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Law enforcement video and audio obtained by the McAlester News-Capital detail the trooper-involved fatal shooting of Mark Anson Schoggins.

Pittsburg County District Judge Mike Hogan on Wednesday granted a motion to dismiss a motion to quash law enforcement video of the July 17 high-speed pursuit that ended with OHP troopers fatally shooting the 35-year-old from McAlester.

The McAlester News-Capital previously obtained Oklahoma Highway Patrol videos that show the suspect clocked at speeds exceeding 100 mph in wrong-way traffic in the middle of town. The driver rammed law enforcement vehicles in multiple attempts to flee.

District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan had filed a motion to quash open records requests for the videos, which was granted by Hogan. Sullivan determined on Sept. 26 after a nearly three-month investigation that the shooting was justified.

"After reviewing all the investigative reports, witness interviews and reviewing all available video regarding the incident, I have determined that no criminal charges against the OHP Troopers are necessary or proper," Sullivan said in the motion to dismiss. "Mark Schoggins had more than 10 opportunities to prevent this tragedy from occurring and refused every time; each time he did so, he put the officers and public at risk."

Schoggins was accused of stealing two bottles of vodka from a local liquor store before he was initially stopped by a McAlester police officer and then fled.

Police pursued Schoggins south of McAlester on U.S. Highway 69 before OHP took the lead as the chase returned toward McAlester. The pursuit ended at South Third Street and South Avenue in McAlester, with OHP troopers fatally shooting Schoggins.

Sullivan said after Schoggins struck troopers in their vehicles with his large SUV, he attempted to run over Trooper Garet Gray and struck Gray's body before Gray and Trooper James McKee opened fire on Schoggins.

"It is my conclusion that this was an appropriate use of lethal force and no charges should be filed," — which Sullivan said "was in response to a suspect's assault and battery with a deadly weapon, his vehicle."

Two other videos from Trooper Bradley Wilson, who was struck by “shrapnel” during the incident and from Trooper Keith Robertson, were also released.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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