The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office has cleared a Tulsa police officer in the fatal shooting of a man who police said fired shots at a convenience store and led them on a vehicular pursuit in east Tulsa in June.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Tuesday that Officer Dean Montgomery was justified in killing Eric Portillo because Portillo posed “a great risk of bodily harm to the public” when he attempted to run into a neighborhood while holding a gun.
“Based on the reports submitted, Officer Montgomery was justified under Oklahoma law with using deadly force in his effort to apprehend a fleeing felon who was linked to a felony offense that had just been committed at Joy Mart involving a gun,” Kunzweiler said.
Montgomery and an officer-in-training were driving to their patrol division about 12:40 p.m. June 15 when they heard two gunshots coming from Joy Mart, a convenience store near 21st Street and Garnett Road. Montgomery, a 21-year veteran of the force, then saw Portillo, 37, fleeing on foot to get into a vehicle, Kunzweiler said.
The car led the officers on a chase.
Police said at the time that Portillo had pistol-whipped and shot at a man at the convenience store and fired the gun during the pursuit. A woman driving the car bailed out mid-pursuit, and Portillo then drove at slow speeds for about 10 minutes on at least one flat tire before encountering a dead end in a cul-de-sac, police said.
Kunzweiler noted that Montgomery saw that Portillo was carrying the gun as he tried to run into the neighborhood.
“A weapon-related offense having been committed and posing a great risk of harm to the public and observed with that weapon at the time he was shot” justified the shooting, Kunzweiler said.