Oklahoma Troopers: Here's Why We Shot a Pastor

Nehemiah Fischer allegedly attacked trooper, had a gun
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2015 5:50 PM CDT
In this photo provided by the Okmulgee County Jail, Brandon Fischer is pictured.   (Okmulgee County Jail photo via AP)
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(Newser) – An assistant pastor killed during an encounter with Oklahoma troopers Friday night played a key role in his own demise, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. In a short press conference Monday, Capt. Paul Timmons said the shooting victim, Nehemiah Fischer, attacked a trooper and pushed him to the ground. Timmons also presented a 35-second clip of what the Tulsa World reports is 30 minutes of dash-cam footage. The clip shows two OHP troopers shouting at the assistant pastor and his brother, Brandon Fischer. The two had been fishing on their dad's property in rural Okmulgee County when their truck stalled on a flooded road; the troopers showed up at around 9:30pm to find the men apparently standing in rising floodwaters trying to push the truck. "Come on! Get out of that water! Boys, state troopers!" trooper Mark Southall shouts in the video.

"Settle down, you understand me? Settle down." The brothers can be seen entering the video; Nehemiah rushes Southall and the two move off-camera; the other trooper is filmed drawing his gun, then the clip ends. Timmons said both officers fired their guns at Nehemiah. The AP reports that the troopers recovered what they said was a weapon belonging to Nehemiah at the scene. The 35-year-old's father says he gave his son a .380 handgun as an April 14 birthday gift, a weapon he says Nehemiah generally carried while fishing and as a defense against snakes. The troopers—Southall has eight years' experience, the other has one—are on administrative leave. Meanwhile, Brandon, 41, appeared in district court Monday via video feed over two complaints: public intoxication and assault and battery on an officer. (Friends continue to say Nehemiah's alleged behavior doesn't make any sense.)

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