WAGONER — Wagoner County authorities have released the identity of a man who died July 1 while in the custody of Wagoner County deputies.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the man as Jeffrey Krueger of Texas.
Sheriff Chris Elliott said Krueger was the motorist who a deputy saw driving recklessly, doing donuts in the roadway, near the intersection of Oklahoma 51 and U.S. 69 around 9:54 p.m. July 1. The deputy initiated a traffic stop, and Krueger pulled into the center turn lane and stopped.
When the deputy approached the vehicle, the driver would not follow the officer’s commands, the sheriff said.
“The deputy drew a weapon, and the suspect reached out and grabbed it. There was a struggle over the gun, and the deputy recovered it,” Elliott said last week. “A second deputy arrived, and when they got the suspect out of the car, a fight started, lasting approximately four to five minutes before they got him in handcuffs. That’s an eternity to be fighting someone.”
One of the deputies called for backup, but authorities were caught behind a train passing through Wagoner.
“During the middle of the fight, a deputy deployed a Taser on the suspect. At some point, he called for an ambulance, and the first people to arrive on scene were EMS within four minutes of the traffic stop,” the sheriff noted.
Elliott said that after the suspect was taken into custody, deputies thought he was having trouble breathing. EMS personnel checked him at the scene.
“He had either quit breathing or (had) trouble breathing at the scene, and they took him to the hospital, where he died,” the sheriff said.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death.
As of Monday, the cause of Krueger’s death had yet to be determined.
The sheriff said he is waiting for the OSBI report as well as the pathology report on Krueger.
He said last week that “anything anyone says right now is nothing but conjecture and speculation. We just don’t know.”
Elliott noted that Krueger “did have some kind of injury to the back of the head, … but we are not sure what that injury was. It could have been preexisting; we just don’t know.”
The two deputies involved were Nick Orr and Kaleb Phillips. Orr has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since October 2017, and Phillips has been with the department since August 2017. Both are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the OSBI investigation.
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