Pottawatomie County Sheriff releases name of deputy recovering in hospital after shot 7 times

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BETHEL ACRES, Okla. (KFOR) – The Pottawatomie County Sheriff identified the deputy who was allegedly shot seven times by a suspect who was later found dead in Bethel Acres.

image of Braedon Chesser
Braedon Chesser 2018. Pic from OHP

Sheriff Mike Booth told KFOR that Garey Knoles, a deputy with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, was shot Friday.

An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation official said the deputy was shot by 27-year-old Braedon Chesser, who was found dead in a section of woods located about 100 yards behind his Bethel Acres home.

Chesser’s estranged wife, 25-year-old Sarah Chesser, was found dead inside the home.

Information has not been provided on the cause of either Braedon Chesser’s or Sarah Chesser’s death.

Knoles went to the Bethel Acres home, located near Austin Drive and Patterson Road, just before 8 a.m. Friday regarding reported domestic violence.

Chesser allegedly opened fire on Knoles, hitting him seven times.

Law enforcement officers who were nearby got Knoles to safety. He was transported to the OU Health Medical Center, where he is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds, according to OSBI.

“When I heard seven that was pretty unbelievable,” said Sheriff Booth of when he heard the number of times Knoles was hit. “I was upset. I was a little angry. I said a prayer on my way to the scene.”

The sheriff visited with Knoles in the hospital on Saturday Night and said the deputy is “hanging in there.”

“He’s in good spirits,” he said. “Doctor just checked on him. He’s doing as well as can be expected. He’s staying pretty positive about everything, which is very commendable and absolutely amazing.”

Looking into Chesser’s background on Facebook, KFOR found him in a series of videos expressing his association with Christopher Ledbetter, a Pottawatomie County man facing federal prison time for unlawful possession of a fully automatic weapon.

“My name’s Braedon Chesser. I’m a close friend of Christopher Ledbetter,” he said in one of the videos.

The two are a part of a militia group called the Sons of Liberty. Chesser expressed not liking how law enforcement treats them.

“We’re peaceful people that just want to be left alone,” he said in another video. “Leave us alone! I’m ordering you to cease and desist!”

KFOR interviewed Chesser in June 2020 as he defended Ledbetter during his court proceedings.

“We’re here to not bring violence onto others but instead protect people’s peaceful freedoms from violence on police officers,” he said.

More than a year later, Chesser now dead, with OSBI actively investigating his alleged attack on the Pottawatomie County deputy.

The agency said the medical examiner will determine the exact cause and manner of death for both Chesser and his wife.

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