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Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers fatally shot a man on Friday after they were called to help rescue a vehicle trapped in rising floodwaters.
According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons, the incident occurred after two troopers responded to reports of a stalled vehicle south of Tulsa. They arrived to find two men, brothers Nehemiah and Brandon Fischer, pushing their truck through water. The cops reportedly ordered the men to abandon the vehicle and move to higher ground.
"The water was already fairly deep, and it was starting to rise pretty quickly and it was running pretty rapidly across the road," Timmons said, according to the Tulsa World. "They were concerned these guys would be swept away."
An argument ensued that led to one of the men attacking a trooper, Timmons said, confirming that Nehemiah Fischer, 35, was killed in the alleged confrontation. Brandon Fischer, 42, was later booked into the Okmulgee County jail on complaints of assaulting an officer and public intoxication.
"For whatever reason, and this is where it gets a little cloudy, (the men) approached the troopers," Timmons said, according to the Tulsa World. "Shots were fired."
A weapon was recovered from one of the suspects, but it wasn't immediately known which man had the weapon or whether the shots were fired at the troopers, the Associated Press reported.
Timmons characterized the shooting as self-defense in the face of an assault.
"As they were exiting the water, coming towards the troopers, a confrontation occurred," Timmons said. "One of the troopers was actually assaulted, and in defense of himself, he fired."
While neither trooper was injured, both will be placed on leave while the Oklahoma Highway Patrol further investigates the incident.
Since Memorial Day weekend, severe floods in Oklahoma and Texas have left 28 people dead and a dozen missing, prompting President Barack Obama to sign a disaster declaration.
According to a Washington Post analysis published Saturday, at least 385 people shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of 2015.
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