Authorities escort body of fallen Tecumseh officer home; suspect identified

Authorities line up to escort the body of fallen Tecumseh Officer Justin Terney home. (KOKH/Colleen Wilson)

A Tecumseh police officer has died Monday morning after being shot during a foot pursuit late Sunday night.

According to Tecumseh Assistant Police Chief J.R. Kidney, Officer Justin Terney, 22, pulled over a vehicle at approximately 11:30 p.m. March 26 at Benson Park and Gordon Cooper in Shawnee. The suspect, Byron Shepard, then left the vehicle and allegedly fled on foot. The Assistant Chief tells FOX 25 the suspect was tazed by the officer but kept running and headed for a wooded area.

Officials say both the officer and suspect exchanged gunfire with the officer being hit. Shepard was also injured.

Both were taken to OU Medical Center. Kidney described Terney as in "serious, critical condition" in a morning press conference. It was confirmed shortly after 9 a.m. March 27 that Terney had died from his injuries. Kidney says he believes Terney was shot approximately three times.

Kidney told the media that Terney had recently gotten a puppy and was determined to be a K9 officer. The fallen officer was a native of Canadian, Oklahoma.

Law enforcement officers from various agencies lined the streets to escort Terney's body back to Canadian Monday afternoon.

Shepard remains in the hospital following the incident. He is believed to have been running from outstanding warrants.

A female driver of the suspect's vehicle in the incident has been taken into custody.

Republican Sen. James Lankford said Terney made the ultimate sacrifice and that he was praying for comfort and peace for the officer's family.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who put on the uniform every day and risk their lives to ensure the safety of our communities, and Officer Terney gave the ultimate sacrifice," Lankford said in a statement.

Republican Rep. Steve Russell, whose district includes Tecumseh, said the slaying should serve as a reminder of the work law enforcement does every day.

“We are all saddened by the fatal shooting of Officer Justin Terney. Terney was determined to protect the public with bravery and dedication," Russell said in a statement.

Governor Mary Fallin, a native of Tecumseh, called Terney's death "tragic".

"Our prayers go out to his family and friends," Gov. Fallin said.

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