An OHP trooper shot and killed Tulsa preacher Nehemiah Fischer after a flood water rescue attempt. Fischer’s brother, Brandon, was by his side but was in court facing charges of Assaulting an Officer and Public Intoxication.
The release of the dashcam video came after Fischer’s father and wife made statements to the media claiming that the assistant pastor was a man of God who was not capable of violence and had deep respect for law enforcement.
According to reports, late Friday night in Okmulgee, the brothers were stuck in high waters, but when two OHP troopers came to the rescue, a fight broke out. Dashcam video showed the Fischer brothers charging at both troopers, and Nehemiah assaulted one.
“Nehemiah attacks a trooper, hits him head on with both hands like he’s an offensive linemen, he hits him, drives him to the ground, gets on top of him and tries to drown him,” said OHP legal counsel Gary James.
James said trooper Michael Taylor was pinned underwater, and both he and trooper Mark Southall shot at Nehemiah, who was armed with a pistol and died.
James said both brothers had been drinking before the incident.
“His brother Brandon has admitted that they were taking shots of Crown Royal up unto the time the vehicle is being flooded,” James said.
Brandon bonded out of the Okmulgee County Jail, surrounded by friends and family. Brandon is shown in the video threatening one trooper and was arrested.
Nehemiah’s middle name is ‘Blessed.’ Friends of the 35-year-old assistant pastor at Faith Bible Church describe him as ‘slow to anger’ and are stunned he was killed.
“There’s no way that he would do that knowingly,” said pastor Don Hargrove.
Ironically, James said the attacked trooper Taylor was a church youth minister, and that there’s more to Nehemiah’s story.
“The man did not act as a person who was following the Lord’s will at the time that he attacked these troopers,” James said.
The troopers were dressed in full uniform and loudly announced they were with OHP prior to the attack.
There is a second, even clearer dashcam video that OHP has not yet released of the shooting. Officials said the complete video is about 30 minutes long.
The attorney representing both troopers further claimed that Mr Fischer had a gun on his hip and held Trooper Southall’s head underwater.
“They [Fischer brothers] might be great guys, I don’t know, but they’re obviously cursing state troopers and Nehemiah attacked the guy because when he gets up to him, it’s well enough lit that he knows he’s knocking a state trooper to the ground and on top of him,” Gary James told the station NewsOn6.
The Fischer family is preparing for Nehemiah’s funeral meanwhile Brandon has another court hearing later this month.
Both troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave.