Officers in fatal shooting identified

By SHANE SMITH

For The Yukon Review

The Mustang Police Department identified Thursday five officers who were involved in a shooting June 5 that left a Yukon man dead.

Police Chief Robert Groseclose identified the officers as Sgt. David Hanson, Sgt. Ben Brauer, officer Ben Trujillo, John Gibson and William Carpenter.

Who fired the fatal shots that claimed the life of Benjamin Ballard, 42, was not clear.

Both the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney’s office investigated the shooting.

On June 26, the Canadian County district attorney cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, classifying the use of force as justified.

The officers were placed on administrative leave after the incident and are set to return to active duty this month.

Members of the media were shown police dash cam video of the incident.

Groseclose stood near the screen and offered commentary on the events.

Shortly before 7 p.m., police pulled Ballard over in a parking lot near a gas station at SW 59th Street and Mustang Road.

He was suspected of driving under the influence.

The video shows Ballard speaking with officers and moving his hands around, occasionally putting his feet out of the vehicle.

He is then seen resisting officers as they attempt to pull him out and arrest him.

During the struggle, Ballard reaches back and retrieves a gun.

As officers struggle to get the weapon, one of them deploys a taser, out of view of the dash cam.

After being tased, Ballard aims the gun at an officer.

Two officers then shoot Ballard in self-defense, also out of view.

Nine shots were fired, seven of which hit Ballard as he falls out of the vehicle.

The video did not include sound, and the officers were not wearing body cameras.

Groseclose said the vehicle contained 15 beers, one of them opened.

A Power Point presentation displayed information about the officers and the case.

Groseclose said the incident was “heartbreaking” and stressed that the families of Ballard and the officers have all been affected.

He also stated that the officers had no other option but to discharge their weapons.

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