TULSA, Okla. – A 73-year-old Oklahoma volunteer deputy charged in the fatal shooting of a suspect in Tulsa has countered criticism of his qualifications.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the April 2 shooting, Robert Bates told NBC's "Today" show that characterizations of himself as a wealthy donor paying to join the force are "unbelievably unfair."
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office volunteer also disputed anonymously sourced comments in the Tulsa World newspaper that sheriff's office supervisors were ordered to falsify his training records. He says he is property certified.
Video released by the sheriff's office shows Eric Harris running and deputies restraining him after an undercover gun deal. Bates says he shot the 44-year-old suspect after confusing his stun gun and handgun.
The Tulsa district attorney has charged Bates with second-degree manslaughter.