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OSBI Seal  Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Stan Florence

Jessica Brown
Public Information Director


01/29/13                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           


OSBI Investigates Police-Involved Shooting Death in Pryor

The Mayes County Sheriff’s Department requested OSBI investigate a police-involved shooting that occurred at a Pryor motel this morning (1/29/13). A Mayes County deputy and an off-duty Salina police officer riding with the deputy made a traffic stop in front of the Days Inn, 495 Mid America Drive, Pryor, just after 2 o’clock this morning. The deputy and off-duty officer approached the vehicle and believed drugs were inside it. The officers took the driver and passenger from the vehicle and requested a drug K-9 from Choteau check the exterior of the vehicle. The dog alerted on the vehicle, which indicated to its handler drugs were inside. The officers searched the vehicle and found narcotics. Carl Don Thomas (d.o.b. 6-7-1986), of Pryor, and Robert William Rowbotham (d.o.b. 10-17-1971), of Locust Grove, were each arrested on a complaint of possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance) with intent to distribute and booked into the Mayes County jail.

One of the two suspects told officers they were headed to a room at the Days Inn to meet with other people. The officers went to that motel and to the specified room. The deputy and off-duty officer knocked on the door and announced who they were. The officers could hear people inside the room talking, but those people refused to open the door. The same K-9 officer arrived at the scene and his dog alerted to the door of the motel room. With that information, the officers requested the motel manager open the door. Inside the room were a man and woman. The woman complied with officer commands and was escorted outside the room. The man, Will Perneau, (d.o.b. 8-15-1983), of Tulsa, did not comply. Officers took him to the ground and handcuffed him. Shortly after he was handcuffed, gunfire was exchanged. Perneau was struck and died at the scene. The officers were not injured. 

OSBI agents are gathering evidence and interviewing officers and any witnesses. Once the investigation is complete, agents will provide the district attorney with a report. The district attorney will determine if the shooting was justified. The OSBI will not release the names of the officers since they are the focus of the investigation.