Family files lawsuit after 2022 officer-involved shooting leaves man paralyzed

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A metro family has filed a lawsuit stemming from a officer-involved shooting that left a man paralyzed.

The lawsuit comes from 53 year-old Darren Solomon after officers shot him in May 2022 while he had a pellet gun aimed at the police chopper.

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Solomon’s attorney, Jak Warren, said officers failed to intervene days before the shooting.

“Kerry, Darren’s father, had called police multiple times in the days prior to the shooting asking for help to have Darren involuntarily committed, to have him taken in and those requests were declined,” said Warren.

According to the lawsuit officers arrived on May 13, 2022, to serve a warrant. However, Solomon was having a mental health crisis and OKCPD was “made aware of Darren’s mental condition as early as May 9th, 2022.”

“Kerry had informed them of that he needed help with them,” said Warren.

Video shows Solomon aiming what looks like a pistol at the police helicopter which forced officers to open fire, which was later confirmed to be a pellet gun.

“Kerry had told the officers at every stop that Darren didn’t have any weapons. He told them specifically he has a pellet gun, but no weapons,” said Warren.

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The lawsuit states when police intervened they “exacerbated Darren’s already unstable mental condition by serving a search warrant with a full tactical squad, bomb squad and helicopter.”

“Really it’s escalating a situation, to create a danger that doesn’t need to be there,” said Warren.

The former drama teacher is now paralyze from the waist down. Warren feels it all could’ve been prevented.

“I think the city historically has had an issue with how it responds and handles mental health issues and crises,” added Warren.

The police department nor the city commented on the lawsuit.

Several months after this incident, the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into both Oklahoma City and OKCPD’s response to mental health crises. That investigation is still ongoing.

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