A pastor of a Tulsa church was fatally shot by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer in a flood rescue gone horribly wrong.
Rising waters stranded Nehemiah Fischer, 35, and his brother, Brandon, 40, in their truck Friday night in Okmulgee County, 20 miles south of Tulsa. Police said when troopers showed up to help them, the men got upset and attacked the officers.
"[The officers] were trying to get them to come out of the water. They were worried about them getting swept away," Capt. Paul Timmons of the OHP told The Associated Press. "[The men], for whatever reason, were just really upset about having to leave the vehicle there."
That's when cops said the men attacked the troopers. Timmons told Fox affiliate KOKI that one trooper fired "in defense of himself." Nehemiah, an assistant pastor at Faith Bible Church in Tulsa, died at the scene. His widow, Laura, is challenging the police account of her husband's death.
“I can't picture that happening," she told KOKI in a tearful interview. "They would not have gone after the trooper. They would not do that on their own volition."
So far, the details of the altercation remain vague. Police told The Guardian that officers found a gun on Fischer, but that they couldn't verify "whether it was being brandished" when a trooper opened fire and fatally shot him.
Laura Fischer says that if dashboard camera footage of the shooting exists, she wants to see it. She refuses to believe that her husband of less than a year would attack a police officer.
“He was the nicest person I’ve ever met. He was very giving. He made me want to be a better person," she told KOKI. "He honestly completed my life. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do."
The troopers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as the case is investigated. Brandon Fischer faces charges of assaulting an officer and public intoxication.