By Wilhelm Murg
On Wednesday August 1, the Okmulgee Sherriff’s Department responded to a call about McMurtry, 61, who was alone at the home he shared with his wife. The caller, identified simply as “a family member” by Sherriff Eddy Rice, indicated that McMurtry was suicidal.
Two deputies, Chief Investigator Michael Stacy and Investigator Smokey Patchin, “found the screen door open, looked in, yelled for him; no answer,” Rice said.
One of the officers spotted McMurtry in the yard; he had a machete with him. They attempted to talk with him, but McMurtry became more agitated and ran at the deputies. One deputy attempted to Taser McMurtry, but apparently he didn’t make a good connection. The other deputy had his gun drawn and shot McMurtry. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Comment: Wow, this is someone I corresponded with. I recently posted a review of his latest work. Kind of shocking to me.
Someone told me there's more to the story than in this article. Maybe he was holding a carving knife, not a machete, because he was a woodcarver. Maybe the deputies shot him without (sufficient) cause.
Anyway, people have begun establishing memorials to McMurtry:
Robby McMurtry "The Art Teacher" Memorial Page
-- Tom Pomplun, Graphic Classics Publisher