OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The maker of Tasers stated Monday that a minimum of 15 individuals have caught hearth, and 5 have died, after being surprised whereas close to flammable supplies, just like an Oklahoma man who was burned past recognition after he was shocked and reportedly obtained into his gasoline-soaked van.
Axon spokesman Steve Tuttle stated the deaths embrace the person shocked Nov. 7 by a police officer within the city of Lindsey, about forty five miles (seventy two kilometers) south of Oklahoma Metropolis, though authorities say they’re nonetheless investigating whether or not the person might have lit himself on hearth.
“We have seen it occur,” Tuttle stated. “It is occurred about 15 occasions in 24 years … out of about three.5 million subject makes use of” of the gadget, referred to as a carried out electrical weapon, or CEW.
“It is a recognized state of affairs. Fortunately it has been a really uncommon occasion,” Tuttle stated.
Investigators say the person in Oklahoma who caught hearth was armed with a gun and was additionally carrying a lighter. An officer surprised him with a Taser, however the man managed to battle his method again into his van, the place he burst into flames. Authorities say they’re nonetheless making an attempt to find out whether or not the person used his lighter to start out the hearth or whether or not the Taser was the trigger.
Scottsdale, Arizona-based mostly Axon notes on its web site that a Taser may cause flammable supplies, together with gasoline, to catch hearth.
“Don’t knowingly use a CEW within the presence of any explosive or flammable substance until the state of affairs justifies the elevated danger,” the web site states.
The names of the person and the officers concerned within the confrontation haven’t been launched. The lifeless man’s physique was despatched to the state medical expert’s workplace for constructive identification and to attempt to decide the reason for the blaze.
McClain County Sheriff’s Det. David Tompkins, who’s participating within the investigation, stated it seems the officer was in all probability justified in utilizing the Taser.
“Proper now, I feel will probably be justified, until one thing else comes as much as change my thoughts,” he stated.
Tompkins stated investigators do not but know whether or not there’s video of the confrontation as a result of they haven’t been capable of open and think about the digital camera that was on the officer’s patrol car. He stated the dashcam has been despatched to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to find out whether or not it was working on the time.
The lifeless man is believed to be an individual who was reported to police in close by Norman as probably suicidal.