By Royal McGregor
Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke on Friday afternoon provided details of Thursday’s officer-involved shooting that sent one man to the hospital.
Gerke identified the man shot by law enforcement as 39-year-old Odessan Christopher Ocon.
The OPD chief said during the press conference that Ocon was shot once after he was reportedly involved in an auto theft. Gerke said two OPD officers and one Texas Department of Public Safety deputy fired shots after they saw Ocon pointing an unknown object at them.
“That object at this point is not identified,” Gerke said when he was asked about the object Ocon pointed at law enforcement.
The reported officer-involved shooting happened around 10:20 p.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Ellis Drive, an OPD press release stated.
Officers reportedly responded to the listed address. Gerke said officers made contact with Ocon and he pointed an unknown object at law enforcement that they immediately perceived as a firearm.
Ocon was shot once and transported to Medical Center Hospital. Gerke said Ocon was in stable condition as of Friday afternoon. Gerke also said that Ocon is currently being charged with theft, a third-degree felony.
“As the investigation progresses, further charges may result,” Gerke said.
The two officers and deputy involved weren’t injured. Gerke said the two officers were placed on administrative leave as is department policy during an officer-involved shooting investigation.
Gerke didn’t identify the two OPD officers who were on administrative leave. Gerke also said he didn’t know how many officer-involved shootings OPD has been involved in during the last year.
This investigation was turned over to the Texas Rangers, which is standard protocol.
“We really do step back from it,” Gerke said. “We let the Texas Rangers run the investigation.”
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Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke answers questions during a press conference about an officer involved shooting Friday afternoon at the Odessa Police Department.