‘It was very surreal,’ Oklahoma City officers talk about brush with death

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OKLAHOMA CITY - For the first time, two Oklahoma City police officers who were injured in a deadly motel shootout are talking about their brush with death.

The officers were ambushed and shot outside a metro motel along I-35 back in early October.

The gun battle left one woman dead, the accused killer behind bars and the two officers wounded.

The shootout started when a woman called police and claimed to be held captive.

"We knocked on the door and we were met immediately with gunfire," said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Cody Koelsch.

"It seemed almost instantly I heard the first round go off," said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Grant Brooks.

Sgt. Brooks and Sgt. Koelsch both got hit in arm by the barrage of bullets.

"I looked down and could see a red circle on my arm and thought I have just been shot. This is not good," remembers Brooks.

"I brought my gun up and noticed I was bleeding pretty good," said Koelsch.

Police say Shane Rhea pulled the trigger, trying to kill the officers.

Luckily, Koelsch's ballistic vest stopped a potentially fatal round.

The officers agree only after the gunfire stopped did reality seem to set in.

"Once it's over and done, you're like wow that was really dangerous," said Koelsch.

"It was very surreal. I thought have I really just been shot? Am I dreaming?" said Brooks.

Unfortunately, amidst the gunfire, prosecutors say Rhea used Samantha Monden as a human shield trying to escape down the interstate.

After Rhea executed Monden, officer MSgt. Jeff Locke returned fire and shot Rhea.

Rhea now faces numerous criminal charges.

Both Brooks and Koelsch were awarded the Order of the Purple Heart for their injuries.

The awards are just a small reminder about the danger police face every day on the job.

"It's weird to be honored for being injured, but people should be honored because that's a sacrifice they've given," said Brooks.

"It goes to show you. It can be any hour, any day, there's nothing routine about this job," said Koelsch.

The officers are recovering from their arm injuries, although both still have some pain.

This week the District Attorney cleared all the officers involved in the shooting of any wrongdoing.

As for the murder suspect, he remains behind bars without bond.

MORE: Read more about the motel shootout here.


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