Demand for more answers have grown after an April officer-involved shooting in Hugo, Oklahoma that left three children injured.
Officers Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen were identified as the two offers who attempted to apprehend 21-year-old William Smith who was wanted in connection to an armed robbery of a Pizza Hut. Jenkins and Allen opened fire on a vehicle they believed Smith was in, striking three children who were sitting in the backseat.
“What happened between the contact with him and when police fired, we’re still trying to put that together,” Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations spokeswoman Brook Arbeitman said. “The OSBI is still investigating whether he fired at police and whether he was armed.”
Smith was arrested on a robbery warrant.
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” the children’s mother Olivia Hill told local affiliate KFOR. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
Police say they began shooting after Smith attempted to run them over with his vehicle. However, this claim is being disputed as both officers were in plain clothes and that Smith could not identify them as police. It is also suggested by the community that the officers in question could have moved out of the way instead of opening fire on a vehicle, unaware if there were children inside.
“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” family attorney Damaria Solomon-Simmons told The Free Thought Project. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”
The three children who were shot were all released from the hospital but will continue to deal with a lot of “emotional pain” per Simmons.