Tulsa community supports 2 officers shot during traffic stop with prayers, flowers


Hundreds of people attended a prayer vigil as the Tulsa community gathered to show support for two police officers who were fighting for their lives after they were shot during a traffic stop, according to a report.

The vigil was Monday night, after rookie officer Aurash Zarkeshan and Sgt. Craig Johnson was shot in the head each time and was seriously injured that morning, Fox 23 Tulsa reported.

“I will try not to cry,” said one of the attendees at the station.

The woman has a son who is a Tulsa police officer assigned to the Mingo Valley Division, where Zarkeshan and Johnson worked.

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The Tulsa Police Department thanked the community for their show of support after two police officers were shot during a traffic stop.
(Tulsa Fraternal Police Order)

“This is for officers who risk their lives every day, every turn they leave, and we want them to know that we love and support them.”

A parked patrol car from the Mingo Valley Division became a makeshift memorial for Zarkeshan and Johnson, and throughout the day, people filled it with balloons, flags, stuffed animals, and flowers.

Among those who offered support was Black Lives activist Matter Tykebrean Natral Cheshier, according to the station. She placed cards and flowers in the vehicle.

“He’s not really good at funerals and sad things, just, hey, the community loves you and I’m sorry for what’s happening here, I’m sorry for what happened,” Cheshier told the station.

Shooting the victims, Sgt.  Craig Johnson, left, and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan of the Tulsa Police Department

Shooting the victims, Sgt. Craig Johnson, left, and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan of the Tulsa Police Department
(Tulsa Police Department)

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The Tulsa Police Department thanked the community for their show of support in a Facebook post.

“There have been so many people coming out to support our officers, we are grateful for each and every one of you,” the post said.

The city’s police union released a statement blaming “the national anti-police narrative.”

“As I have spoken to the police overnight, we cannot help but see the work of the national anti-police narrative here,” wrote the president of the Tulsa Police Fraternal Order, Jerad Lindsey, on Facebook.

“We must recognize the real impact of rhetoric against the police and take real steps to stop violence against the police.”

But We The People Oklahoma, a self-described group of “community activists, expressing our First Amendment Rights,” called the union statement “irresponsible.”

His Facebook post says: “There is no ‘anti-political narrative.’ It is a narrative of justice. Just as seeing an officer’s shot is horrible, so is seeing an officer put a knee to a man’s neck for almost nine minutes. ”

Police told local media around 3:30 am Monday that Zarkeshan arrested David Anthony Ware, 32, for driving with an expired license plate tag. Johnson appeared to provide support.

Police said a fight ensued when Ware rejected an order to get out of the vehicle.

Tulsa police arrested David Ware in the shooting of two police officers after a manhunt.  (Tulsa Police Department)

Tulsa police arrested David Ware in the shooting of two police officers after a manhunt. (Tulsa Police Department)

Fox 23 reported that, during the fight, Johnson attempted to subdue Ware with a Taser and pepper spray to no avail.

Officers were shot when Ware reached under his seat for a gun and fired three times, the station reported.

Police said two of the bullets hit Johnson, who was shot three times more when he was lying on the ground and Ware stood on him, according to the station.

Police said Ware fled the scene after calling a friend to pick him up.

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He was finally caught after the manhunt. His friend Michael Hall, 29, was arrested on an accessory charge.

Local media reported that Ware has a long criminal history.

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