A Tulsa reserve deputy who fatally shot a man during an undercover gun sting was charged with second-degree manslaughter, the Tulsa World reports. Sheriff Stanley Glanz described Reserve Deputy Robert Charles “Bob” Bates as a longtime friend who made “an error” last week when he fatally shot an unarmed man trying to flee deputies during an undercover operation to retrieve stolen guns. Glanz also said he had no plans to change the deputy reserve program but that it will be looked at as part of the Sheriff’s Department routine review of operations. The Sheriff’s office said Bates had intended to use a Taser on Eric Courtney Harris as Harris was being subdued during an undercover gun buy, but instead pulled his gun and fired one shot.
“He made an error,” Glanz said. “How many errors are made in an operating room every week?” An investigator retained by the Sheriff’s office found that Bates violated no policies. Asked if he thought the shooting was justified, Glanz said, “That is a hard word for me to answer.” He added: “It was unintentional. You know, justified means you had reason to do something. He had reason to get the gun out when the guy was fleeing.” The incident occurred near the parking lot of a store. Harris, a convicted felon, later died at a local hospital.