One witness told KFOR that for a few hours, the Turner Turnpike looked like a warzone.
“Oh, my gosh. It seemed like forever,” said Wade Carter. “I mean, it was awful. And it was just a long wait.”
Wade Carter was in one of hundreds of cars stranded on the Turner Turnpike Saturday while a shootout between Charles Carswell and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers erupted.
“I never saw so many officers and you know, it was just unbelievable,” said Carter.
Earlier on Saturday, the Sedona Police Department in Arizona asked troopers to keep an eye out for the 32-year-old suspect. They said he had been a suspect in an armed robbery case.
OHP said they first spotted Carswell’s car in Canadian County, but when troopers tried to pull him over he took off and led them on a high-speed chase onto the Kilpatrick Turnpike, instead. During the pursuit, Troopers said Carswell used his rifle to shoot at Troopers on his tail through his back windshield.
After the chase hit the Turner Turnpike, troopers were able to stop the suspect in his tracks near mile marker 140, after a successful TVI (Tactical Vehicle Intervention). Authorities said Carswell kept firing and used his car as a barricade.
“The suspect exited the vehicle, grabbed a long rifle and began to fire at law enforcement,” said Trooper Eric Foster at the scene.
OHP’s Tactical team fired back and hit their target, killing Carswell.
“It was like a warzone,” said Carter.
Meanwhile Carter was on the same road. He said he watched as officials geared up to get closer to the scene, while he and countless others were blocked in for hours.
“Everywhere you look, there was someone in gear and with a gun,” he said. “We just got out of the cars and looked around and stuff and started visiting with people. We just had to keep our sanity because we were all anxious to get back on the road.”
As you can imagine, the only bathroom available was mother nature. Carter said female officers came to the rescue for other stranded women.
“They actually put up a couple of blankets for this girl to use the bathroom in-between the blankets, you know, out in the ditch,” said Carter.
All the while, Carter said some of them didn’t know what was going on because officials were tight-lipped.
“In fact, we had to pry, you know, get information. We knew it was a man hunt. We knew that he had been shot and was gone,” said Carter.
Carter never got to his destination in Tulsa. However, he just hopes everyone else in the bumper to bumper standstill ended up alright.
“I think about all the people that maybe had an emergency to get to wherever they were going,” said Carter. “It could have been really bad, and I’m sure it was for a lot of people.”