Officer investigated for two shootings within a year
LAWTON, Okla. (KFDX/KJTL) — Graphic, gut-wrenching scenes caught on the body cams of two former Lawton police officers.
As those two officers involved in the December 5, 2021 shooting death of Quadry Sanders, Nathan Ronan and Robert Hinkle were fired on January 7, 2022, by City Manager Michael Cleghorn.
“They knew what they were doing when they killed Quadry sanders that night. That was a hate crime, I know it was a hate crime. You killed two black kids in one year, what other crime could it be?” Zonterious Johnson’s mother Myeosha Gray said.
And then on May 6, the city of Lawton announced the decision of the Comanche County District Attorney’s Office to charge both Ronan and Hinkle with manslaughter.
This comes after the two separate officer-involved shootings for the Lawton Police Department less than a year apart, both involving officer Ronan.
“When I found out it was the same officer, it just broke my heart because I feel like this really all could’ve been avoided if they would’ve really heard my family call out,” Gray said.
In April of 2021, Ronan was cleared by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation shooting of Zonterious Johnson after celebrating his birthday at Lavish Lounge.
Then, just eight months later, the second shooting where Sanders was killed, with graphic body came footage chronicling the incident.
Something that brought back painful memories for Zonterious’ mother.
“It broke me down in tears, it broke me down because my son. I seen that little boy begging for his life, he was begging for his life. He didn’t have nothing in his hand. I just seen anger and rage from the officer and they took it out on that kid and they unloaded that clip and that’s the same thing they did to my son,” Gray said.
While Gray and family of Zonterious, who maintain his innocence, say although a different case, hearing the news that Ronan will finally be off the force is just the start.
“I’m very sorry for Quadry’s mother, that she had to lose her child in order for everything to come to light, that Nathan Ronan was trigger happy, they hired a trigger, happy cop,” Gray said.
Now, they want to see Zonterious’ case opened back up and lengthier punishment as well with both officers currently charged with manslaughter.
“They took two innocent lives. I think about my son daily. I think about him, I ask for words cause I’m not good speaking to the public, but I’m begging people to help me because I don’t know which way to go with this. If it was someone on the streets, they would’ve got them but it’s a police officer,” Gray said.
We reached out to the Comanche County District Attorney’s Office for a statement but have not heard back.
Click here to read statements from the City Manager and Mayor Stan Booker.