Trooper Involved Shooting

[Trooper James Pischel #420]

A St. Louis Missouri man died yesterday following a shoot-out and pursuit with a trooper in far northeastern OK.

Twenty five year veteran of the OHP, Trooper James Pischel had no idea what was about to happen yesterday when he stopped a man who was suspected of driving his car while under the influence.

Pischel, who was responding to the report of a drunk driver westbound on the Will Rogers turnpike, spotted the vehicle and stopped it just east of Vinita. Upon approaching the vehicle and requesting to see the subject's drivers license, the driver opened fire with a 12 gauge shotgun. The trooper ducked for cover and returned fire as the suspect drove away at a high rate of speed.

Approximately one mile later the pursuit ended, when the subject's vehicle ran off the roadway and flipped, ejecting the driver. Rodney Cornell Banks, a 45 year old male of St. Louis was heavily armed and on parole at the time of the shootout. He is also suspected of killing his girlfriend in her St. Louis home earlier yesterday.

"This was a very close call, but we are obviously very happy that our trooper came out on top," said 2LT Chris West, spokesman for the Patrol. "Our troopers stop cars every day with no idea what may lie ahead," said West.

The investigation of the incident is being conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Pischel, who was uninjured in the incident, is on temporary administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.