TULSA, Okla., April 12 (UPI) -- Police in Tulsa, Okla., released a video of a fatal shooting by a reserve officer when he "inadvertently" shot a suspect instead of using his Taser.
Eric Courtney Harris was the subject of a sting operation earlier this month by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, which released footage of the incident on Friday.
Harris, a convicted felon, was first suspect in a methamphetamine investigation, but made claims during that investigation about being able to sell illegal weapons.
In the video of the shooting, Harris runs from police after he sells a gun to an undercover officer inside a truck. He gets knocked down to the floor, with an officer pressing him down. An officer calls for a Taser to be used, but Reserve Officer Robert Bates fired his gun instead.
"Oh! I shot him! I'm sorry!" a voice in the video says. Another screams "He shot him! He shot him!"
Harris told officers that he was losing his breath, and a voice replies: "You [expletive] ran! Shut the [expletive] up... [Expletive] your breath."
Harris died at a local hospital. Bates, 73, was placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
"Did an accident happen? Sure. But is it accredited to his age? Or was it accredited to the rapidly evolving situation? I guess that will be determined in the investigation," Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said during a press conference after being asked if age may have been a factor in the shooting.
"We have done our very best as a sheriff's office to be transparent," Clark said. "It has been a very trying last several days."
Tulsa Sgt. Jim Clark, an independent consultant hired to do a private evaluation, believes the incident is consistent with excusable homicide, citing a medical theory called "slips and capture."
The theory states that during high-stress situations, a person does something different from or opposite of what the brain believes them to be doing.
"Slips and capture... happens in medical community, aviation industry and law enforcement," Clark said. "You can train someone as much as you can, but in times of crisis, sometimes training is not going to take you through the scenario."
Funeral services for Harris will be held Wednesday.