Deputies shoot gunman after authorities say he opened fire in plaza
BY Staff Reports
Thursday, March 08, 2012
3/08/12 at 9:58 AM
Photos of the shooting as it happened.
Photography Tulsa library employee and photography enthusiast captures shooting at courthouse plaza
John Fancher was in his office when he heard gunshots and saw a young man - barefoot and wearing jean shorts - walking through the Civic Center Plaza with a gun Wednesday.
From his vantage point in the Tulsa City-County Library downtown, he saw deputies cautiously respond before more shots were fired, injuring both a deputy and the barefoot man.
As soon as the first shots rang out, people on the crowded plaza began running to safety.
"They were scattering, trying to get in the courthouse as quickly as they could," Fancher said.
In all, three people were injured in the shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The man started firing shots in the air near a gazebo on the courthouse square at 2:39 p.m., Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Shannon Clark said. The man was shot by deputies when he raised his gun at them after they responded to the gunfire, he said
Tulsa police identified the man as Andrew Joseph Dennehy, 23, of Tulsa.
A sheriff's deputy and one bystander, both male, were also struck by gunfire. Clark said the deputy's wound does not appear to be life-threatening.
Officials have not released a motive for the shooting.
One person was taken from the scene in critical condition to St. John Medical Center, EMSA public information officer Chris Stevens said. Another man was taken to St. John in serious condition, he said.
A third patient, also male, was taken in fair condition to St. Francis Hospital. Medics treated another patient at the scene, but she refused transport to a hospital, Stevens said.
Several witnesses described Dennehy casually walking through the courthouse plaza after firing off at least two rounds from a handgun.
Fancher said the gunman sat down before deputies arrived, and he then turned toward them still holding the gun.
Witnesses said law enforcement officers swarmed the plaza and that after a short exchange of gunfire, Dennehy was down, bleeding in the middle of the plaza.
Angela Reudelhuber of tulsaweddingminister.com had just finished a ceremony in the center of the plaza, where the bride and groom's 6-month-old baby was among the guests.
Reudelhuber heard the first shots as the wedding party was returning to the courthouse.
"The shooter was about 20 feet away from me," she said. "We just jumped inside, and I yelled at the deputy, 'Somebody's shooting!' "
Security officers are routinely stationed at the courthouse entrances, where all visitors are screened for weapons and metal objects.
The wedding party rushed to the second floor, and by the time Reudelhuber looked out a window, the gunman was on the ground, she said.
No one in the wedding party recognized the suspect, Reudelhuber said, and the ceremony didn't appear to be the shooter's motivation.
Tulsa County District Court Judges Jefferson Sellers and Rebecca Nightingale said they witnessed the gunman being shot by sheriff's deputies from seventh-story courtrooms.
Sellers said he saw the shooter point his gun at the deputies, shoot at them and then be struck by bullets himself when the deputies returned fire.
He said he heard deputies order the gunman to drop his weapon before they opened fire, striking him multiple times.
Nightingale said she heard the gunman fire at least two shots at the deputies before they returned fire.
As soon as the first shots were heard, people in the crowded plaza began running for safety.
Art Fleak, a defense attorney, said he was in his office near the courthouse when he heard the first shots.
"I heard shots, then saw everybody running from one guy," he said.
The man's demeanor - the fact that he sat down on the ground and was wearing casual clothing - was odd, Fleak said.
"It didn't look like he was in court" today, he said.
According to court records, Dennehy was not facing any charges in Tulsa County District Court.
In 2008, Dennehy was convicted of DUI, transporting an open container of beer, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and speeding.
In 2007, Dennehy was charged in Creek County with reckless conduct with a firearm and carrying a firearm while under the influence. He pleaded guilty and received a six-month suspended sentence, court records show.
Also in 2007, he was charged in Tulsa County District Court with possession of a firearm by a minor after being adjudicated delinquent on a felony, but the charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and his sentencing was deferred, court records show.
In an accident related to Wednesday's shootings, a Tulsa police officer was injured when she wrecked her patrol car while responding to the scene outside the courthouse.
The officer was cresting a hill on Lewis Avenue near 36th Street North when she swerved to avoid another vehicle. Her cruiser rolled and struck a sign, Tulsa Police Capt. Steve Odom said.
The officer, whose name was not released, suffered cuts and a shoulder injury and was taken to the Oklahoma State University Medical Center. She was conscious and alert when help arrived, Odom said.
The police car's warning lights and sirens were on when the crash took place, police said. The officer had no passengers, and no other injuries were reported.
Original Print Headline: Deputies shoot man
World Staff Writers Jerry Wofford, Amanda Bland, Matt Barnard, Bill Braun, Andrea Eger, Shannon Muchmore, Michael Overall and Casey Smith contributed to this story.
Sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers surround a wounded man identified as Andrew Joseph Dennehy, 23. He was shot by officers after firing shots outside the Tulsa County Courthouse on Wednesday. JOHN FANCHER/for the Tulsa World
Andrew Joseph Dennehy: He was not due in court and authorities say they do not know what prompted the shooting.
A man identified as Andrew Joseph Dennehy holds a gun in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse on Wednesday. JOHN FANCHER/for the Tulsa World
A sheriff's deputy is transported to a hospital after being shot outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. JOHN FANCHER/for the Tulsa World
Law enforcement personnel investigate after a sheriff's deputy and two others were shot outside the Tulsa County Courthouse on Wednesday in Tulsa. A sheriff's deputy and two other people were wounded during an exchange of gunfire outside a courthouse plaza in Tulsa, police said. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World
Spectators walking along Denver Avenue look toward the Tulsa County Courthouse after a shooting on Wednesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
An officer takes a photo Wednesday after a shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse in Tulsa. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World