A jury convicted a man Friday of shooting a Tulsa police officer and shooting at two other officers during a confrontation in which he also was shot outside a midtown Tulsa convenience store.

John Terry Chatman, 36, was convicted of shooting Lt. Mike Parsons in July 2018 at the QuikTrip at 4950 S. Harvard Ave. Authorities alleged that Chatman fired indiscriminately from a parked van at three officers, Michael Cawiezell, Danny Bean and Parsons.

After being hit, Parsons “continued protecting the public by directing and participating in Chatman’s removal from the vehicle, and officers immediately began providing him (Chatman) first aid despite what he just did to to their fellow officers,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Friday night.

The Tulsa County jury convicted Chatman on three counts of shooting with intent to kill, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, obstruction and various traffic offenses. Jurors recommended that Chatman serve 40 years for the shooting of Parsons and 30 years each for the shootings at Bean and Cawiezell.

Chatman is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 13.

Cawiezell and Bean initially stopped to talk to Chatman around 1:15 p.m. July 3, 2018, at the Trade Winds motel in the 3100 block of East Skelly Drive. The motel’s parking lot is adjacent to the QuikTrip. Chatman and a woman were sitting in a parked minivan, and Chatman, whom police had not identified by that point, told the officers he did not want to speak with them.

Chatman drove away, and, as he did so, the two officers checked the van’s license tag and found that it didn’t match the vehicle. The officers then initiated a traffic stop at a gas pump at the QuikTrip.

The two officers stood at the van’s rear passenger door, where Chatman had moved, and spent 15 minutes attempting to identify Chatman and talk him out of the van. Chatman told officers his name was “Junior,” according to body-worn camera video that was later released.

Chatman challenged the officers’ jurisdiction several times and asked the police officers to contact their superiors. This back and forth persisted until Parsons arrived with a pepper-ball gun. Parsons told Chatman what the pepper-ball gun was, what he would do with it and when he would use it.

“(If) you step out here, you go in handcuffs; you can give her a kiss,” a Gang Unit officer can be heard telling Chatman on the video. “We can do this the hard way, or we can do it that way. That’s it.”

Less than 10 seconds after the first pepper ball was fired, Chatman began shooting his gun, police said. The officers returned fire, hitting Chatman. After Parsons was hit, an officer pulled him to cover while the shooting continued.

Emergency responders, including police officers, began treating Chatman for his gunshot wound.

The three involved officers have since returned to duty.

In a separate trial in U.S. District Court, a federal judge sentenced Chatman on April 30 to 40 years in prison for convictions related to the shooting. He received a 10-year federal sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and a concurrent 30-year prison term for attempting to kill a witness.

Federal law requires the sentence Chatman received for a third federal conviction, a 10-year term for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, to be served after he completes that 30-year prison term and any prison time he receives from the state convictions.

Chatman backed out of a plea deal with federal prosecutors about a week before his trial date. The proposed plea agreement among federal and state authorities and Chatman called for him to serve a total of 40 years.

Kunzweiler said he will seek consecutive sentencing in January for the convictions in Tulsa County District Court.


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Harrison Grimwood

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