When 17-year-old Farrah Rauch is laid to relaxation Wednesday in Blair, an Oklahoma police chief might be in attendance.
Rauch was killed by police in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on Feb. 28 following a pursuit and shootout.
Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee will make a seven-hour drive to talk at her funeral after an invite from the teenager’s dad, Steven Rauch.
Teehee mentioned he was initially stunned by the invitation, which was prolonged to him and the 4 Muskogee officers concerned within the taking pictures.
“On the identical time, I felt very humbled and honored,” Teehee mentioned. “It was an enormous mixture of feelings as a result of I’ve by no means had an (invitation) like that earlier than.”
The 4 officers are additionally honored by the gesture, Teehee mentioned, however felt they “simply weren’t fairly prepared” to attend.
“I feel one of many issues that’s been so onerous for officers — it’s onerous to take a life anyway, then while you discover out it was a 17-year-old feminine it simply compounds that,” Teehee mentioned. “I’ve teenage daughters myself and a few of our officers do, too.”
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Steven Rauch mentioned he felt no hesitation in giving the invitation.
“They have been doing their jobs, they’re in ache and so they had no concept that they have been even teenagers,” Steven mentioned of the officers.
Farrah Rauch’s journey to Oklahoma started when she and her boyfriend Joseph Dugan, 17, took Dugan’s father’s automobile and headed to Florida.
The 2 spent a while in Jacksonville, Steven mentioned. Then, he believes, his daughter wished to go to Santa Barbara, California, the place Farrah Rauch spent the primary seven years of her life.
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The automobile they have been in broke down, and “they should have found there have been weapons within the again,” Steven Rauch mentioned.
In Muskogee, cops responded to an tried carjacking at Three p.m. Feb. 28, in line with Officer Lynn Hamlin, a Muskogee police spokeswoman. A short while later, a pickup truck was reported stolen in the identical space of the tried carjacking.
Officers noticed the stolen pickup, and after a brief pursuit, the pickup crashed and the teenagers ran off. Officers chased the 2 on foot, Hamlin mentioned, and Rauch began taking pictures on the officers. The officers then shot and killed her, Hamlin mentioned.
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Dugan stored operating. Officers arrange a fringe, surrounding him.
Police used a drone to search out Dugan in a closely wooded space. As officers started to method him, Hamlin mentioned, Dugan fatally shot himself.
4 Muskogee cops have been positioned on paid go away following the taking pictures, Hamlin mentioned. One of many officers suffered a minor harm to his hand because of a fall throughout a foot chase.
Steven Rauch mentioned that for the previous 4 years, his daughter struggled with authority and had been handled for self-harm.
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“I feel if she may give a message to teenagers her age, it’s that you simply don’t need to go this far. You’ll be able to cease proper now, flip to somebody you like and belief, inform them your secret, inform them your plan,” Rauch mentioned.
Rauch mentioned he liked his daughter’s willingness to assist others, and he liked her tenacity. He recalled a time when she was 6 months previous on a seaside in Santa Barbara.
“We’d put her within the sand and he or she would simply begin crawling to the ocean,” he mentioned. “We’d choose her up and set her down and he or she’d simply begin crawling towards the waves once more. Whether or not it was wholesome or not, she had this tenacity.”
Farrah Rauch’s memorial service might be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Christ Lutheran Church Campus at 2905 School St. in Blair.
The service will even be streamed on-line at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJGEYJ_YOmpyYdf4A6a6Abg
In his 35 years in legislation enforcement, Teehee mentioned he has by no means obtained an invite like this.
“It’s a singular factor for legislation enforcement, particularly at the moment on the planet,” Teehee mentioned. “You may have a father who simply misplaced a 17-year-old daughter who’s really invited not simply the police division, but in addition the officers who took the lifetime of his baby to attend the service.”