Local media reported that Nehemiah Fischer, an assistant pastor at Faith Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was shot and killed by a state police officer Friday night, May 29, 2015, while trying to free his truck from a flooded road. Authorities say Fischer, 35, and his older brother Brandon were fishing Friday night on his father’s property in Mounds when their truck stalled out in high water. Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers approached the men, advising them to get to higher ground. Officials say an altercation ensued because the men were allegedly armed and belligerent with officers; Nehemiah Fischer was shot, and Brandon was arrested for assaulting an officer and public intoxication.
Both J.R. Fischer, the father of the men, and Faith Bible Church senior pastor Don Hargrove say this confrontation is unimaginable. “It just didn’t happen,” Hargrove insists. “Anyone who knows Nehemiah knows he would never charge someone who is an officer. That’s just not him. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“I’m just heartbroken,” said J.R. Fischer. “If it was going to happen to anybody, it should have happened to me because all my boys are twice the man that I am. I always said if any of my children were killed before me I don’t know if I would make it. Well, I guess the test is on.” He hopes possible footage from the OHP cruiser will clear up what happened that night.
Mike Haesloop, a friend of the associate pastor, told The Guardian that the associate pastor was “not the kind of guy who would pull a gun on anybody. He’s more one that’s going to pray for you.”
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Nehemiah would have celebrated his first anniversary with his wife Laura in mid-July.
“Of all the people I’ve ever known in my life, I’ve never known anyone greater than him (Nehemiah),” Hargrove added. “His character, his love, his gentleness, his giving nature. It’s incomprehensible.”