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Friday, 12 March 2021

Police chief attends funeral of girl, 17, who was shot dead by his cops, hugs her father and tells mourners his officers are 'in pain' because they 'didn't realize she was a teen'

 An Oklahoma police chief spoke at the funeral of a 17-year-old Nebraska girl who died in a shootout with four of his officers - after he was invited to the memorial by the girl's parents.

Chief Johnny Teehee of Muskogee, Oklahoma, spoke about forgiveness at the funeral of 17-year-old Farrah Rauch in Blair, Nebraska, on Wednesday.

Rauch was shot to death in Muskogee on February 28 after she fired at officers while running from an attempted carjacking, police said. Her 17-year-old boyfriend Joseph Dugan shot himself at the scene.

Four officers were placed on administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting.

Teehee hugged Rauch's father as he walked to the lectern of a church in Blair where he said he had never been invited to speak at a victim's funeral in his 35-year law enforcement career.

Rauch's father also invited the four officers to the funeral, but Teehee said they 'didn't think they were ready to do this.'

Rauch, pictured with family left and right, reportedly opened fire on police first

Rauch was shot to death in Muskogee on February 28 after she fired at officers while running from an attempted carjacking 

Police Chief Johnny Teehee, of Muskogee, Okla., speaks at the funeral of 17-year-old Farrah Rauch on Wednesday

Police Chief Johnny Teehee, of Muskogee, Okla., speaks at the funeral of 17-year-old Farrah Rauch on Wednesday

Teehee was pictured hugging the girl's father, Steve Rauch, at the funeral for his daughter

Teehee was pictured hugging the girl's father, Steve Rauch, at the funeral for his daughter

Farrah Rauch and Joseph Dugan, both juniors and runaways, were identified by their former school, Blair High School, in a letter to parents as the teens killed in the shootout.
Farrah Rauch and Joseph Dugan, both juniors and runaways, were identified by their former school, Blair High School, in a letter to parents as the teens killed in the shootout.

Farrah Rauch and Joseph Dugan, both juniors and runaways, were identified by their former school, Blair High School, in a letter to parents as the teens killed in the shootout

Cops get into shoot out with armed suspect before he kills himself
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'They said, 'Chief, I'm not going to be able to do this, but will you let this family know that I love them, and we hold no ill will?',' Teehee said, according to the Omaha World-Herald

'What is the message that we can take from this young life, that we can carry on from this point on and revert back to that?' Teehee asked.

'To me that message is forgiveness.'


Steven Rauch said he spoke with Teehee after the death of his daughter.

'And if I was on the opposite side of this situation, I would hope that somebody would take the time to walk me through the process and help me understand what took place and what happened,' Teehee said, according to KETV

Rauch told those attending the funeral that his daughter 'touched many hearts' but was in a 'dark cycle' when she was shot, the Omaha World-Herald reported. 

'She always did everything to the fullest, and unfortunately she took to the dark side and she got caught up in that,' he said, according to the outlet.

He continued: 'I think she couldn't break that insanity cycle of doing the same thing over and over again.'

The grieving father said officers 'were doing their jobs, they're in pain and they had no idea that they (the suspects in the shootout) were even teens,' according to the outlet.

The 17-year-old high school junior was shot and killed by police after the couple led authorities on a chase during a failed carjacking.

Rauch and Joseph Dugan, both runaways from Nebraska, were identified by their former school - Blair High School - in a letter to parents, as the teens killed in the shootout.

Rauch, pictured with family left and right, reportedly opened fire on police first

Rauch, pictured with family, reportedly opened fire on police first

Joseph is pictured with his mother Honour Dugan (right). The teen shot himself when confronted by police

Joseph is pictured with his mother Honour Dugan (right). The teen shot himself when confronted by police

Muskogee Police said in a press release that officers were initially called in the afternoon of March 1 to a report of an attempted carjacking and then a report of a stolen truck.

After spotting the stolen truck, a short chase ensued until the vehicle crashed, police said.

Footage released by the Muskogee Police Department shows cops traveling at speeds above 90 mph to catch up with the truck as it barrels down the road with a flat tire.

Cops were briefly able to block the truck in front of a gas station before it maneuvered around them and continued the chase at lower speeds.

Eventually, video shows the truck stop and the two suspects, both armed, jump out and begin running.

'Stop! I'm going to tase you!' a cop screams as he chases after Rauch and pulls out his yellow taser.

Rauch starts firing at an officer, who drops to the ground and yells: 'Shots fired.'

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pursuing the suspects after a car chase that exceeded 90 mph

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pursuing the suspects after a car chase that exceeded 90 mph

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pointing their weapons on the teen girl

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pointing their weapons on the teen girl

Cops shot the girl after she had fired her weapon at them after a car chase, video footage shows

Cops shot the girl after she had fired her weapon at them after a car chase, video footage shows

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pursuing the suspects after a car chase

Body camera footage released by the police department shows cops pursuing the suspects after a car chase

The cop then pulls out his gun and shoots 12 shots before he gets up and continues pursuit, video shows.

'Drop the gun,' the officer tells the suspect, who is not seen on camera, before blood is seen on his own hands and other officers continue the pursuit.

'She has fired twice at me,' the cop says as he catches up with his colleagues. 

Another officers yell 'show us your hands, drop the gun' before a volley of gunfire is heard in the video.

Footage from another officer's body camera shows Rauch lying on the ground near a wooded area off the road as she points the gun at officers.

Rauch then started firing at officers who returned fire, killing her, police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin told KRJH-TV.

Police believe the teens were in a romantic relationship, Teehee said, and were reported missing on Thursday, February 25. They got to Oklahoma on March 1. 

Police say the girl was shot and killed a few blocks from where the vehicle crashed. 

Drone footage released by cops shows officers locating the boy in a heavily wooded area nearby. As officers approached, they say he shot himself.

Four officers have been placed on routine administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated. 

Maps of the paths the suspects took as noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Maps of the paths the suspects took as noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Map of 911 calls cops received noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Map of 911 calls cops received noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Maps of the paths the suspects took as noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Maps of the paths the suspects took as noted in a slideshow released by the police department

Police say one officer suffered a hand injury after falling during the foot chase and was treated at a hospital and released.

Muskogee police say their office is investigating the shooting.

Betty Baucom McConnell said she witnessed the events from her front door.

'I couldn't believe it,' she told KODT-TV

'It looked like the wild, wild west. I couldn't get my phone to work. I tried to go live. 

'I didn't know what to do,' McConnell said. 'The police did a great job.'

McConnell said she was enjoying a birthday dinner at home when she heard gunshots outside.

'[I] looked out the front door and there was this lady in front of my house with a gun and she was trying to get in my daughter's car and my daughter was at the door hollering at her to 'get away from my car',' McConnell said. 

'Next thing I knew she pulled out the gun and she got in her stance and she was shooting at the police and police was shooting back at her.'

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