A police officer in Oklahoma has died following a shootout with a suspect in Pottawatomie County on March 26.
Justin Terney, 22, was identified by the Tecumseh Police Department on Monday as the officer who lost his life as a result of a shootout that started at a traffic stop. He suffered severe gunshot wounds and was immediately transported to intensive care at a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Terney hadn’t been in the police force for long prior to the incident.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Ran Away From Terney & Then Opened Fire on Him
According to initial reports, police say that Terney performed a routine traffic stop at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday in Tecumseh, which is just over 30 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.
Terney approached asked the male passenger in the car to exit the vehicle, and he started patting him down. When he was doing so, the suspect — who has not yet been identified — ran away from him and headed into the nearby woods.
Terney pursued the suspect on foot and used his stun gun to subdue him, though it didn’t have any effect on him. The suspect continued to flee the scene and ran into a nearby pasture, pulling out his gun and firing at Terney. He was struck him three times in the stomach.
Although injured, Terney was able to use his handgun, return fire and wound the suspect, who was also transported to a nearby hospital.
It’s believed that the suspect had outstanding warrants, which seems to be why he fled Terney. A female that was the driver of the vehicle has been taken into police custody.
Early Monday morning, authorities listed Terney as in serious condition after exiting surgery.
But his condition continued to deteriorate in the ICU, and he was pronounced dead hours later at the hospital.
2. Terney Just Turned 22, Was In the Police Force For 1 Year & Was a Volunteer Firefighter
Terney hadn’t been in the force long before the tragic incident that claimed his life.
He started working for the Tecumseh Police Department in January 2016, not long after he turned 21. Co-workers described Terney as a “gung-ho” officer who seemed grateful to be able to perform his duty.
In addition to serving on the police force full time, Terney was a volunteer firefighter in Pittsburg County.
3. Terney Loved to Fish, Hunt & Spend Time In the Outdoors
Terney was a huge fan of the outdoors.
From hunting for turkey to ducks to deer, to fishing for catfish and bass, Terney was quite the outdoorsman in rural Oklahoma.
On his Facebook page, there are loads of photos showing him outside in the wilderness either hunting or fishing with his friends.
In addition to the hunting and fishing, Terney was a fan of collecting unique rock forms. He listed himself as a “hunter” for Arrowhead Hunters, a group on Facebook that posts pictures of arrowhead rocks that have been discovered.
4. Terney Loved Dogs & Was Going to Work With a K9
It wasn’t just serving the local community that Terney fell in love with. He had a soft spot in his heart for dogs.
He had at least one dog of his own, and he “liked” all sorts of K9 pages on his Facebook page. He was a fan of numerous dog trainers throughout the Oklahoma City area, including Off-Leash K9 Training, LLC. in Tulsa, HITS K9 Training and Evolved K9 Training with the dream of someday being able to work with one.
5. Terney Studied at Canadian High School & Eastern Oklahoma State College
According to his Facebook page, Terney lived in Canadian, Oklahoma and graduated from Canadian High School.
Canadian is a small town located in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, about 140 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. During the 2010 census, it reported a population of just 220 people.
After he graduated from high school, Terney pursued his dream of serving the community. He studied at Eastern Oklahoma State College and pursued working for the police force. The school is a community college that offers associate degrees and certification programs. It’s located in Wilburton, Oklahoma and was founded in 1908 as the Oklahoma School of Mines and Metallurgy. Originally, the school focused on mining engineering, but expanded its studies as the years moved along.
Terney obtained his degree and shortly after doing so, got his first job as a police officer for the Tecumseh PD.