The Pryor Times

January 29, 2013

Handcuffed suspect killed in drug investigation

The Times

PRYOR — A handcuffed suspect was killed in a shootout with law enforcement Tuesday morning in Mayes County. The officer-involved shooting took place in Pryor during a drug trafficking investigation conducted by a Mayes County Deputy and off-duty Salina police officer, according to a release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The deputy and off-duty officer made a traffic stop in front of the Days Inn at 495 MidAmerica Drive in Pryor just after 2 a.m. They suspected the people in the car were transporting drugs and requested a K9 officer. Police say the dog alerted on the vehicle, and the officers found narcotics, according to the OSBI release.

They arrested two men: Carl Don Thomas, 26, of Pryor and 41-year-old Robert William Rowbotham of Locust Grove. They were booked on complaints of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

One of the men said they were meeting others at the Days Inn, according to the OSBI. The two law enforcement officers went to the hotel to investigate, and although the occupants of the room refused to open the door, the K9 officer again alerted to the presence of drugs, according to the OSBI.

The motel manager opened the door, and a woman inside complied with police instructions to leave. The release says a man in the hotel room, Will Perneau, resisted arrest and was handcuffed.

"Shortly after he was handcuffed, gunfire was exchanged. Perneau was struck and died at the scene," the release states.

OSBI agents are investigating the shooting at the request of the Mayes County Sheriff's Department. The officers' names were not released.