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Tulsa police, federal law enforcement officials unveil Initiative 2150 to honor Sgt. Craig Johnson
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Tulsa police, federal law enforcement officials unveil Initiative 2150 to honor Sgt. Craig Johnson

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Oklahoma’s top law enforcers are focusing on gun crimes with a new initiative named after Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson.

Initiative 2150 focuses investigative and prosecution resources specifically to gun-related crimes. The initiative bears Johnson’s badge number.

“When we see felons possessing firearms, we know they don’t make good choices,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said.

Shores, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin and several others announced the initiative on Tuesday. It shores up the partnership among local law enforcers, state and federal agents and state and federal prosecutors.

Johnson, 45, died on June 30 from gunshot wounds sustained during a traffic stop. Authorities allege David Anthony Ware, 33, fatally shot Johnson and shot Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, critically injuring him, on June 29. Zarkeshan had stopped Ware near the intersection of 21st Street and 89th East Avenue for an expired tag.

During a struggle between Johnson, Zarkeshan and Ware, Ware allegedly pulled a handgun and shot both officers. Johnson later succumbed to his wounds.

Ware was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm due to a previous felony conviction.

Shores said after the shooting, law enforcement officers in northeast Oklahoma asked “what is it that we can do” to protect officers and communities.

“An area that we focused in on ... is that we can continue to target and aggressively target persons who illegally possess firearms,” Shores said.

When the region’s top law enforcement officials announced the initiative, they were flanked by members of Johnson’s and Zarkeshan’s squad. Franklin remarked that the last time he saw them, they were covered in Zarkeshan’s and Johnson’s blood.

“Let it serve as notice: If you’re a criminal and you’re in possession of a gun, then we’ll come after you,” Franklin said.

A Tulsa police officer is training with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on ballistic evidence recovery, and additional task force officers have been assigned to the ATF. Thomas Chittum, an ATF assistant director, said that the agency has assigned additional agents and intelligence personnel to northeast Oklahoma for the 2150 Initiative.

Chittum said the initiative aligns with the ATF’s pillars on gun crime: partnership, intelligence and enforcement.

“We will work tirelessly with our partners to identify, investigate and aggressively prosecute armed criminals and those who arm them,” Chittum said. “If you commit a gun crime in Tulsa, you can expect to spend a lot of time in federal prison.”

Shores said his office has indicted more than 30 people firearms complaints, and he said 23 of those had previous felony convictions.

Ware has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His case is expected to go to trial.


Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin speaks about the release of a video showing the shooting of two Tulsa Police officers

July Gallery: Memorial service for Tulsa Police Sgt Craig Johnson

Harrison Grimwood

918-581-8369

harrison.grimwood@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @grimwood_hmg

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