Chickasha police officer shot in the line of duty facing new struggle on road to recovery

CHICKASHA, Okla. - It has been almost two years since a Chickasha police officer was shot in the line of duty.

In September of 2017, officers with the Chickasha Police Department were serving a search warrant at a home in the 3500 block of S. 4th St.

As they approached the house, investigators said shots were fired from a man inside the building.

“Subject’s moving through the building. Randomly firing through the walls. East side, west side, rounds coming out,” an officer can be heard saying on the 911 call. “Shots fired! Large amount. Subject barricaded. We have one of our officers shot.”

Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield, a 10-year veteran of the department, was hit immediately three times. His vest stopped at least another two rounds.

“He was able to make his way on his own to a perimeter officer and collapsed. The perimeter officer went to drag him to cover where a tourniquet was applied to his upper right arm,” Chickasha Police Chief Goebel Music told News 4 at the time.

His injuries were horrific.

"One round went through my helmet down the right side of my face through my ear," he said. "The one that went in my forearm that actually severed my arm other than a few tendons and some skin tissue."

Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield shows the scars left behind by the shooting.

The man behind the trigger, 61-year-old Alex Warren Klingler, was found guilty of the shooting in 2018.

"I try not to hold a grudge, just live my life and don't let what's happened to me consume me," said Schoolfield.

Two years after the shooting, Schoolfield's life is still being affected by the crime.

"They had to reconstruct my arm, try to connect everything the best they could. I had nine procedures so far, possibly a tenth coming," said Sgt. Matthew Schoolfield.

Nine procedures later, and still no end in sight.

For almost a year, Schoolfield was on light-duty but he says he's recently been taken off of that line of work. Now, he's stuck at home with a lot of questions.

"It kind of seemed like everybody was gonna take care of me and not to worry about things, and then a contract comes up," he said.

Schoolfield says he understands rules need to be followed, but he said he was surprised and didn't expect to be taken off of light-duty.

"Very scary because my wife works too, but I was the main source of income, so a big part of my salary helped with bills and things like that," he said.

Now, he's just hoping he can get back to work as soon as he can.

"Right now, it's doubtful that I'll be able to be a police officer again because of the loss of function in my hand. I'm not gonna be selfish enough to put myself above those that I would be working alongside of or even the citizens I'm supposed to protect," he said.

News 4 has reached out to the Chickasha Police Department but has yet to hear back.

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