Lawyer for man shot by off-duty officer says he has life-altering injuries

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The day after his 43rd birthday, Demetrize Carter laid with his eyes closed in a hospital bed.

Carter was shot in the chest by an off duty Del City Police Officer who was working security at a football game between Choctaw High School and Del City High School on August 25th.

He struggled to speak and breathe, but managed to answer a question from News 4’s Ashley Moss:

Reporter: How are you feeling? 

Demetrize Carter: I wish this had never happened.

LOCAL NEWS: ‘His hands were up’: Attorney for football game shooting victim says civil rights violated

One week later, the injuries from the bullet that tore through his body were on full display.

“He’s not in good condition. He’s had a host of procedures going on. His intestines ruptured. He had some things done to his spleen. He has a bad left kidney. He’s got respiratory things. And you can see the colostomy bag that he’s now required to have with him wherever he goes,” said Attorney Billy Clark.

“His injuries are life-altering, and we don’t know what’s next for him [but] we’ve got a long road ahead,” he added.

Clark now represents Carter; he says was targeted by Del City Police.

However, Clark says the man was an innocent bystander at the game, where gunfire also led to the death of a 16-year-old boy and injured a teenage girl.

“He was breaking up [a] fight when an officer approached him. He put his hands up and he even said the words, ‘don’t shoot. I’m here to help’.”

However, Clark said the officer shot Carter anyway.

“[Mr. Carter] was attempting to be a good Samaritan … he was trying to do the right thing, when he was shot, targeted, by a Del City police officer,” Clark said.

“It’s a complete violation of his civil rights, complete violation of the Fourth Amendment, [the] Fourteenth Amendment, his individual rights, his constitutional rights,” Clark added.

“Accidents happen. We get that. But when it involves an officer who has more training than we do with firearms, more training with de-escalation than we do …  to go and target someone that he knows and maybe [has had] some problems with, in the past…you don’t shoot at someone [who’s] not a threat,” he said.

While officials have said officers perceived a threat, Del City police have not released additional details pertaining to the shooting incident.

However, this is not the first time Del City Police have been criticized for out of character police behaviors; a former Del City Police captain was charged for a shooting that resulted in a Del City teen’s death in 2012.

As reported in The Oklahoman, Randy Trent Harrison was later convicted of first degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Dane Scott, Jr.

A federal lawsuit was also filed in 2017 alleging excessive force by another Del City police officer, by Royce Estep, who claimed the incident led to multiple surgeries and excessive hospital bills.

LOCAL NEWS: ‘A horrible new normal’: Choctaw shooting prompts pause, new protocols

Another use of force lawsuit was filed against Del City Police Department back in 2022 by a Texas woman, Candace Jefferson, dating back to a claim of excessive force complaint at a Del City hotel in 2020.

“[Mr. Carter] has physical pains and injuries that he’s going to live with, unfortunately and sadly, for the rest of his life. He’s never going to be back whole again like he was on the 24th,” Attoney Clark said.

“If we don’t demand justice, we’re not going to get it.”

Clark said Carter was interviewed by Choctaw Police Friday, but he has not been contacted by Del City Police or the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, who is currently handling the investigation.

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