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Oklahoma police kill Hickory man

March 3, 2011

Police say the Hickory man shot and killed by Oklahoma officers was going through a difficult time and wanted law enforcement to take his life.

Police fired eight shots at Brian Dollarhide, 30, in Perry, Okla., early Tuesday morning in what officers are calling suicide by cop.

Perry Police Chief Brian Thomas said Thursday that Dollarhide was separated from his wife, who reported Dollarhide had suicidal thoughts.

Thomas said Dollarhide led police through the streets of Perry, Okla., about 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. He turned into a Wal-Mart parking lot before he stopped his white Ford truck and made shooting motions at officers, holding a black object in his hands. The object was an ice-scraper, not a gun. But police didn't know that when Dollarhide got out of his vehicle and made gun-style recoil motions toward Perry Police Department officers.

According to Thomas, Dollarhide walked into a Perry, Okla., convenience store Tuesday about 5:40 a.m. when he took an energy drink from the store, showed it to the clerk and walked outside the building.

"He said, 'Thanks for (the energy drink),' and he walked out," Thomas said.

The clerk called police, who followed Dollarhide in a chase about nine blocks through Perry, Okla., streets.

Thomas said Dollarhide's apparent willingness to attract police officers lends credible to the theory that Dollarhide wanted to commit suicide.

"He could have taken the energy drink and gotten on the interstate," Thomas said. "But he came right back into town."

Dollarhide pulled into the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, which was closed and didn't have customers or employees nearby. That's when he got out of his car, pretending like he was shooting a gun. Police shot him eight times, fatally wounding Dollarhide. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The violent incident appears to be Dollarhide's first serious encounter with police. A search of United States court records revealed Dollarhide was charged only with traffic citations or misdemeanors, such as speeding, operating a vehicle with no license and driving with an expired registration tag.

The Catawba County Clerk of Court had no divorce filing from Dollarhide. Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Dollarhide was never an inmate in Catawba County jail.

A Perry police officer's dashboard camera captured video footage of the incident, which will be reviewed to determine if officers followed police procedure during the incident. Officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, which is protocol in an incident involving a shooting, Thomas said.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took possession of the case and didn't see any wrongdoing from Perry Police. The Noble County (Oklahoma) district attorney also reviewed the dash-cam footage and won't press charges against officers, Thomas said.

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