Oklahoma Woman Killed Fleeing Police in Drug Bustby Phillip Smith
Sep. 16, 2014
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An Oklahoma City woman was shot and killed by police as she attempted to drive away from a drug bust and hit an officer on foot earlier this month. Karen Cifuentes, 19, becomes the 33rd person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
The incident occurred September 3, but didn't come to our attention until the passenger in Cifuentes' car was charged last Friday with murder in her death.
According to The Oklahoman, citing law enforcement documents, undercover police witnessed what they thought to be a drug deal in the parking lot of a liquor store. As officers approached, Cifuentes backed the car out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed, mowing down metal poles and jumping the curb as she fled.
The reporting does not make clear whether the undercover officers ever identified themselves as police.
As she drove away down a nearby surface street, she hit an officer on foot, who shot her "as she was accelerating." The reporting does not make clear whether the officer shot her before or after she hit him. An earlier report from KFOR Newschannel 4, however, says Cifuentes struck the officer first and that the officer suffered "minor injuries."
Cifuentes was apparently the girlfriend of passenger Juan Manuel Aguilera Perez, 24, who reportedly threw a bag of cocaine from the car as the pair fled. Perez is now charged with first degree murder, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of drug proceeds ($400 in cash).
Because Perez's was allegedly in the midst of the commission of a felony—drug sales—when police shot Cifuentes, under Oklahoma law he can—and has been—charged with murder in her death.