The Hugo Police Department of Oklahoma has released the names of two officers involved in a shooting that injured an adult man, and three young children last week.
Detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen are on paid administrative leave after opening fire on a car driven by William DeVaughn Smith, who is accused of robbing a Pizza Hut last month, Hugo station KFOR reported.
Four children were in the car at the time, and only one escaped without injuries.
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” the kids’ mother, Olivia Hill, told the station. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
Detectives made contact with Smith on April 26 as he sat parked in his pick-up truck outside a food center in Hugo. At some point, gunfire broke out as the two officers tried to approach.
What prompted the shooting remains unclear.
“What happened between the contact with him [and] when police fired, we’re still trying to put that together,” a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said. “The OSBI is still investigating whether he fired at police and whether he was armed.”
Smith, 21, was injured and rushed to a hospital in Paris, Texas. The three young children were taken to a hospital but have all since been released, according to family attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.
Still, Solomon-Simmons says the youths will continue to struggle with “a lot of physical and emotional pain.”
“They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” he added. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’ It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury.”
Authorities said they’re still investigating and talking with witnesses to figure out exactly what happened. OSBI officials said it’s unclear if the officers saw or knew there were children Smith’s truck.
Solomon-Simmons also pointed out that that the detectives were in plain clothes that day, so Smith may not have known they were law enforcement.
“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” he told The Frontier. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”
The children’s father, Quindric Jacobs, said he was “devastated” by what happened.
“It’s kind of hard to tell a 5-, a 4- and a 1-year-old that they were shot by the people that’s supposed to protect them,” Jacobs told KFOR. “This is a major problem, right here.”
Police said Smith was wanted for robbing a pizzeria on April 11. According to authorities, the suspect entered through the back of the restaurant, pressed an object to an employee’s back and demanded cash. They say the robber fled after a worker handed him the money.
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