Father of Nebraska Teen Killed in Police Shoot-Out Says He Hopes to Spread Her Story
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
March 16, 2021, 12:47 p.m. ·
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The father of a teenager from Blair, Nebraska who was shot and killed by police in Oklahoma last month says he hopes to spread his daughter’s message and turn a tragedy into something that will help others.
The last few weeks have both tragic and hopeful for Steven Rauch, whose daughter Farrah,17, died in a police shoot-out February 28th in Muskogee, Oklahoma after she had run away from her home in Blair with her boyfriend.
“Right now, I’m still trying to process my grieving of all this and I don’t understand that, but it will be a day-at-a-time kind of thing,” Rauch said.
During a funeral last week, the Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee spoke of forgiveness and redemption, a remarkable message for a man whose officers ended Farrah’s life. Rauch said he’ll always have a bond with Teehee and hopes his daughter’s message can go forward.
“I wouldn’t even be surprised if somewhere down the line him and I could do maybe a couple of high school events where we could tell our story in front of high-schoolers or grade schools even, you know, and tell Farrah’s story” Rauch said. “I hope, and I believe he’s sincere too that we’re probably going to become good friends.”
Rauch said his daughter had been in what he called a “black hole” since she was 13 and battled addiction, depression and self-harm. Despite that, the junior at Blair High School had many friends, was a straight A student and talented soccer player. Rauch said he knows his daughter would do it differently if she had another chance.
“If she could do it all over again, she realizes now that I was a great influence to her if she only had listened, but she didn’t and she’s listening now,” Rauch said. “To her, life is just beginning and she wants me to realize life is just beginning for me too and for anyone that needs to hear the message that they don’t have to go to where she went to.”
Rauch said he’s been astounded by the feedback from his daughter’s story from all over the country and wants to turn the worst day of his life into something that will resonate with other people who are struggling.
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