Who is David Ware? Oklahoma prosecutor seeks death penalty for accused cop killer seen opening fire on bodycam

Ware has been accused of shooting two officers in Tulsa around 3:30 AM on June 29 after they pulled him for driving with an expired license plate.


                            Who is David Ware? Oklahoma prosecutor seeks death penalty for accused cop killer seen opening fire on bodycam
(Tulsa Police Department)

TULSA, OKLAHOMA: Tulsa district attorney is reportedly seeking the death penalty for David Ware, a man from Oklahoma, who is accused of opening fire at two police officers and killing one in the process in June. Ware has been accused of shooting two officers in Tulsa around 3:30 AM on June 29 after they pulled him for driving with an expired license plate. The shooting left Sgt. Craig Johnson dead and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan wounded. 

On June 26, one of the officers told Ware during a traffic stop that his vehicle would have to be towed because he owed back taxes. Ware, however, in turn, accused the officer of violating his rights, which led to an altercation between the trio and resulted in the shooting, according to authorities. 

The latest report in the case states that Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler is set to seek the death penalty for Ware, according to KTUL. The DA Office reportedly filed paperwork on Thursday, September 17 to pursue the death penalty against Ware. According to the records, Ware, "knowingly created a great risk of death" and "the murder of Sgt. Craig Johnson was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution."

The police department released the bodycam video of the incident earlier this week in response to a court order. The clip showed officers ordering Ware to get out of the vehicle multiple times, however, he refuses to comply and tells them at one point that demanding that he get out of his car "is not a lawful order." When the officers eventually attempt to pull him out of the vehicle, a struggle ensues between them as Ware resists. This is followed by the fatal shooting.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum also commented on the bodycam footage released by the police and took to Facebook, urging residents to not watch the video because of the violence in it. He wrote: "If you do not have to watch this video for your job, don’t watch it. I have to watch a lot of body camera footage as part of my job. I can only think of two times in my life -- upon the death of family members -- when I wept like I did watching the conclusion of this video. It is terrible.”

Ware has been charged with murder in the shooting of Johnson and shooting with intent to kill for Zarkeshan's injuries. Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray, in a statement on the case, said that his office, after going through evidence and meeting with attorneys and detectives, found at least five aggravating circumstances which could result in the death penalty.

"In this particular case, one of the aggravating factors that is one of the more recent ones approved by the legislature is the death of a policy officer in the line of duty," Gray said, according to KJRH. This is reportedly the eighth time when the Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has called for the death penalty. If Ware is convicted in the officer's murder, the decision of the death penalty will be up to the jury. 



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