PERRY OKL March 7 2011 — An incident this morning in Perry that led to police fatally shooting a shoplifting suspect could be a “suicide by cop,” Police Chief Brian Thomas said.
Thomas identified the dead man as Brian Dollarhide, 30, of Hickory, N.C. Dollarhide has family in Blackwell, but Thomas said he and Dollarhide’s family don’t know why he was in the Perry area.
Dollarhide walked into a convenience store at Interstate 35 and Fir Street about 5:45 a.m. He stole an energy drink, walked out the door, said, “Thanks for the Red Bull,” and sped away in a pickup, Thomas said. The store clerk called 911, and Perry officers saw the pickup speeding into town and gave chase.
Dollarhide pulled into the parking lot at Walmart, 1506 Fir St., and got out of the pickup, Thomas said. He charged two officers, got into a tactical-type stance and began to mimic shooting movements while holding a black object.
The officers thought the object was a pistol because of the way Dollarhide held it and made movements resembling a gun’s recoil, Thomas said. The two officers fired a total of eight shots, and Dollarhide was dead at the scene.
The object in Dollarhide’s hand was an ice scraper, Thomas said. It is not yet known how many times he was shot.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into the incident, Thomas said.
Thomas identified the involved officers as Sgt. Andrew Dudrey and officer Matt Smith. Dudrey has worked for the department for about eight years, and Smith for about three years. Both men were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.