Man dead in police-involved shooting in Pryor
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1/29/13 at 3:53 PM
PRYOR – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into a police-involved shooting that killed a Tulsa-area man early Tuesday at a local motel.
William Joseph Perneau, 29, died around 2 a.m. after failing to comply with commands made by a Mayes County deputy and an off-duty Salina police officer at the Days Inn, 495 Mid America Drive, OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.
After making two drug arrests during a traffic stop, officers were led to a motel room where Perneau and a woman were inside, and a canine officer alerted to the door.
A woman was escorted out of the room and secured by the Mayes County deputy, Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed said. Perneau declined to obey commands and was taken to the ground and handcuffed, Reed said.
“The cuffed person somehow managed to get a firearm somewhere in a waistband, rolled over, from what we understand, and shot at the officers,” the sheriff said.
The Salina officer returned fire, killing Perneau at the scene, Reed said. The woman in the room confirmed that version of the shooting, which didn’t injure anyone else, the sheriff said.
Reed is a certified firearms instructor.
“Just because you have cuffs on, you can get a gun out if it’s back there in the back,” he said. “... He produced a gun and actually popped a cap out of it.”
During a traffic stop outside the motel before the shooting, officers, believing drugs were inside a vehicle, removed two occupants and requested a canine officer to check its exterior. The dog alerted on the vehicle, and narcotics were found inside.
Carl Don Thomas, 26, of Pryor, and Robert William Rowbotham, 41, of Locust Grove, each were booked into the Mayes County jail on complaints of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute.
The officers, whose names weren’t immediately released, have been placed on routine paid administrative leave, pending the results of the investigation, Reed said.
Janice Steidley, district attorney for Mayes, Rogers and Craig counties, will determine whether the fatal shooting was justified.
In Tulsa County, Perneau was convicted in June 2008 of possession of a controlled drug and unlawfully carrying a weapon. That same year in Wagoner County, he pleaded guilty to using a vehicle to facilitate the discharging of a firearm and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Will Perneau. Oklahoma Department of Corrections 2008 photo