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'They Should All Go Down': Eric Harris' Son Seeks Justice for Dad

The teenage son of Eric Harris said the Tulsa County deputy who shot and killed his father was too old to be on the streets.
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/ Source: NBC News

The teenage son of Eric Harris, the unarmed man shot and killed by a 73-year-old reserve sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma this month, said Sunday the deputy was too old to be on the streets, but the boy's mom said she forgives him.

Tulsa County reserve sheriff's Deputy Robert Bates, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter, says he mistook his service weapon for his Taser when he shot Harris, 44, on April 2. He apologized to Harris' family last week, telling NBC's TODAY: "This was not an intentional thing. I had no desire to ever take anyone's life."

But Aiden Fraley, Harris' 16-year-old son, said that wasn't good enough.

"They should all go down," Aiden told NBC News in an interview, speaking of other deputies who converged on Harris after he fell to the ground bleeding. "They were involved in it. One of the dudes had his knee on his head, and I feel like that played a part in his death after the shooting."

As for Bates, Aiden said: "He's 73 years old. He should have been in a retirement home, not out there on the scene killing my dad."

But Aiden's mother, Cathy Fraley, who had known Harris for almost 20 years and called him her "soulmate," said she simply wanted a full explanation and "accountability," telling NBC News that she was willing to forgive Bates.

"The Lord has forgiven me for my sins, and who am I not to forgive him?" Fraley said in her first public comments on the case. "But I would just ask them: 'Do you have children? How much did you love your children?' Well, that's how much Eric loved Aiden."

She added: "How would they feel if that was somebody they loved on the ground that had been shot?"

Bates' attorney released training records over the weekend from 2009 to 2014 indicating that Bates successfully qualified to use a handgun 10 times and took at least one Taser class. His evaluations said that he had a "good working relationship with supervisors and other deputies" and "related well to the public" but that he had problems with "geography" and using a police radio.

Attorneys for Harris' family said the documents are far from complete and don't prove that Bates was adequately trained.

A spokesperson said the office is searching for paperwork. Meanwhile, the sheriff's office scheduled a news conference for Monday to address the controversy.