Tulsa, OK – A Tulsa police officer was shot in the hand during a struggle with a suspect on Monday afternoon while he was investigating a gun found in a gas station convenience store restroom.
The incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the bathroom of the R&R Food Store located at 61st Street and Peoria Avenue, Tulsa World reported.
The Tulsa Police Department (TPD) said in a Facebook post to its official page that the security cameras inside the store captured the incident as it unfolded.
Police said the officer responded to the gas station after a gun was found in the restroom.
While the officer was investigating the recovered firearm, he approached 19-year-old Rashad Thomas because he believed the man was involved with the gun.
But what the officer didn’t know –and what was captured on security video – was that Thomas had just put another gun in his waistband before the officer approached him, according to the police department.
Tulsa Police Captain Richard Meulenberg said that when the officer approached, Thomas pulled out the gun, Tulsa World reported.
“During the interaction between the officer and the suspect, the suspect pulled the gun out. The officer and the suspect then fought over the gun when the gun discharged, striking the officer,” according to the police department’s Facebook post.
Police said the wounded officer handcuffed Thomas with the assistance of another officer.
But then the wounded officer’s backup went to his patrol vehicle to get First Aid supplies for the officer who had been shot and Thomas fled in handcuffs, Tulsa World reported.
Law enforcement officers from multiples agencies set up a perimeter around the area and launched a search for Thomas.
Tulsa PD said the wounded officer was transported to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound.
Capt. Meulenberg asked residents and the public to avoid the area and warned the suspect might be armed and dangerous, Tulsa World reported.
BREAKING: Tulsa Police say they are looking for this man in connection to the shooting of an officer near 61st and Peoria. @ReaganLedbetter says the officer was shot in the arm and will be okay. Police say the suspect was also potentially shot and ran south. pic.twitter.com/pkHMOTxENy
— Jonathan Cooper (@JCooperTV) October 25, 2021
The manhunt continued for hours until officers gained access to the locked area inside an apartment complex at about 8 p.m.
Police found Thomas hiding in the laundry room of the building, Tulsa World reported.
#Breaking: The young man accused of shooting a Tulsa Police officer is in custody.
Police tell our Reagan Ledbetter that Rashad Thomas, 19, was arrested while hiding inside the laundry room at the Wedgewood Court Apartment complex. @NewsOn6
— Brian Dorman (@BDormanTV) October 26, 2021
He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Tulsa County Jail.
Thomas was charged with aggravated assault and battery on a police officer, Tulsa World reported.
Officials said the wounded officer was released from the hospital late on Monday night.
Tulsa PD has not released the name of the wounded officer.
Capt. Meulenberg thanked all the agencies that assisted with the search and credited their quick response for the end result, KOTV reported.
“Sometimes when it really matters, we have to get out here to help find someone who is dangerous, we have to get out here and protect the community, protect the officers, and that’s what happens we come from all over the city to come make sure we can do our job well,” the captain told reporters at a press briefing after Thomas was apprehended.