Broken Arrow police clarify interactions with gun suspect
By John Dobberstein, Editor
The Broken Arrow Police Department issued a more detailed explanation Tuesday of officer interactions with Zachary Morrissey and what led to the 26-year-old man’s arrest.
Around 11:52 a.m. Monday, a Broken Arrow city employee called 911 to report “witnessing someone who they believed to be armed approaching the Broken Arrow Justice Center,” police said. Witnesses said Morrissey was at the jail on legitimate business, but Broken Arrow police said when they arrived he was unarmed and not breaking the law.
“At no time did he attempt to enter the building with any kind of gun,” police clarified. “He properly secured his firearms in the trunk of the vehicle that he arrived in prior to approaching the building.”
Officers responding 6 minutes later “interacted” with Morrissey, who was interacting with jail staff via intercom prior to police arrival and was cooperative with responding officers. He left the area without further incident and had committed no crime.
For reasons unknown to police, Morrissey’s driver chose to leave him at Lynn Lane Road and Hillside Drive. “At this point he was armed with what appeared to be an AR-15-style rifle and was visibly carrying a revolver in a holster,” police said.
At 12:46 p.m., Morrissey walked towards the Target store located near 1100 East Hillside Drive. Broken Arrow police received calls about a man with a gun headed towards Target. A different set of BAPD officers contacted Morrissey near the entrance doors to Target.
“He was again cooperative and officers determined that he was not breaking the law,” the release said. “There were no reports of him attempting to enter Target. Officers warned Morrisey that his presence would inevitably lead to more calls,” but no crime had occurred.
Police shared 2 photos of the incident, one of them showing Morrissey sitting in front of Target with the AR-15 style rifle slung and a separate photo of Morrissey walking through the parking lot after leaving the Target, having committed no crime. “While this might be unusual to witness, Morrissey was not breaking any law,” police said.
Morrissey then walked over to a nearby AT&T store and entered with his rifle, and a holstered revolver. Police said his attire and armed presence led to a series of 911 calls.
Between initial contact with Morrisey at the Justice Center and final contact with him at AT&T, “we were able to confirm the existence of a newly entered misdemeanor warrant from that morning,” Broken Arrow police said, although the nature of the warrant wasn’t mentioned in the news release.
Morrisey was arrested for the warrant just before 1:30 p.m. During this arrest, officers discovered Morrisey was further armed with a set of metal knuckles, which is a violation of state and city law. He also had a .50-caliber semi-automatic pistol concealed in one of his pouches and not in a holster.
BAPD says state weapons laws limit lawful possession beyond .45 caliber. Morrissey’s possession of the metal knuckles and large-caliber pistol are what led to additional weapon charges.
AT&T store management told police they do not have a “no firearms allowed” sign on the door, so Morrisey's open carrying of firearms within the business was not against the law.
Police said charges for metal knuckles and unlawful carrying of a firearm will be presented to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office. “We regret the confusion from our initial release,” the department said.