OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater officially filed charges Wednesday against the man who allegedly shot and killed Sgt. Bobby Swartz, a deputy with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Benjamin Harrison Plank is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting Swartz on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 22. He is also charged with three counts of shooting with intent to kill and one count of using a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm (drive-by shooting), according to a document Prater filed in Oklahoma County District Court.

Mugshot of the suspect
Benjamin Plank, image from Oklahoma County Detention Center

Plank, 35, allegedly shot both Swartz and Deputy Mark Johns while the two deputies were serving an eviction notice in the 2200 block of S.W. 78th Street in Oklahoma City.

Both deputies were transported to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Swartz died at the hospital. Johns underwent surgery and survived.

Plank also allegedly fired at Deputy Melody Norton, who was with Swartz and Johns.

The suspect fled the neighborhood after the shooting, driving away in a pickup that had a boat hitched to its rear.

Authorities located Plank’s vehicle and chased him onto Interstate 35.

Plank allegedly aimed a rifled out of his window and fired. He is accused of shooting at Sgt. Brett Price.

The chase continued onto Interstate 40.

Plank exited the interstate at Air Depot and drove to the Tinker Air Force Base gate, where he put the pickup into park and surrendered to law enforcement.

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The suspect being taken into custody. Image KFOR

The Oklahoma City Police Department was the official investigating agency into the fatal shooting.

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Sgt. Robert “Bobby” Swartz, image from Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Tommie Johnson III and OKC Police Chief Wade Gourley held a news conference the day after the deadly shooting. Gourley said there was evidence inside the home that Plank had prepared to kill law enforcement officials.

“But I just want to be clear, what he did yesterday was very well planned out, and very cowardly – those officers didn’t have a chance,” Gourley said last week. “That was his intention, was to kill those [deputies].”

Gourley provided details about the shooting and the chase to capture the suspect, during the news conference.

He said Oklahoma City police were called to the S.W. 78th Street home at around 9:53 a.m. on Aug. 22, on a request for help with an eviction. Officers explained to the woman who made the request that police neither serve civil papers nor get involved with evictions.

“In that initial call, the mother called in and said her son was acting up, placing things in the driveway. She had been working on eviction and VPO [victim protective order] paperwork prior to this. She was advised to get the eviction paperwork together, and [officers] advised her to contact the Sheriff’s Office since the property resided in Oklahoma County,” Gourley said last week.

The Sheriff’s Office took over the eviction request, and Swartz, Johns and Norton traveled to the residence.

Swartz and Johns made contact with the suspect at the front of the home.

A probable cause affidavit released Wednesday revealed the deputies spoke with Plank through the garage, front door and a window, but he refused to leave the home.

Swartz and Johns went to the back door, and Plank allegedly opened fire, hitting Swartz multiple times. Johns rushed to Swartz to protect him.

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Deputy Mark Johns, image from Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

“When Deputy Swartz got hit and went down, [Deputy Johns] tried to get on top of him and pull him out of the way. What a courageous act,” Johnson said.

Johns was shot multiple times as he tried to save his friend.

“Like I said, to give your own life for your friends…so courageous,” Johnson said. [He] jumped down to get and pull him out of the way, and in that time, he got hit himself. Truly a hero.”

Plank went into an in-ground storm shelter in the garage and fired at Norton through a slightly opened garage door. His shots missed her, according to the affidavit.

Norton was not injured.

Residents in the neighborhood began calling 9-1-1 at around 1:18 p.m., reporting that they heard gunshots.

An OKCPD officer was with an Oklahoma County deputy at another location when the shooting occurred, and heard information about the shooting from the deputy’s radio. The officer contacted OKCPD personnel and said that the shooting involved Sheriff’s Office deputies.

An officer arrived at the residence at 1:22 p.m., entered the backyard and found the two wounded deputies, Gourley said.

The officer provided first aid and called for medical assistance.

Officers searched the home and the area for the suspect, but he already fled.

Authorities learned that Plank drove away in a pickup that had a boat hitched to its rear.

A Police Department helicopter entered the sky as law enforcement at the scene worked to keep the deputies alive.

A supervisor at the scene asked that the helicopter land in the neighborhood to pick up one of the deputies and fly him to a hospital as quickly as possible.

“But when our aircraft landed, they realized there was a lot more to that, and our aircraft was not equipped to make that transport,” Gourley said. “And so, we couldn’t do it, we couldn’t make it work.”

Ambulances transported the deputies to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.

Police were on the lookout for Plank. An officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle at S.W. 89th and Walker at 1:33 p.m. The officer notified fellow officers and waited for backup, but the suspect drove off in the pickup, prompting a pursuit.

Officers chased Plank as he entered Interstate 35 North from S.E. 89th Street at 1:36 p.m.

Several more officers joined the chase, with over 20 squad cars hot on Plank’s trail.

“One of our officers tried to disable the vehicle, tried to ram it, but [the suspect] was pulling a boat, which made it very difficult, if not almost impossible, to do that,” Gourley said. “But they were trying to do everything they could to stop him because of the danger he posed to the public at that point, because he obviously already shot two law enforcement officers, so we knew, at that point, no one was going to be safe from him, and that he was going to be very desperate and would probably continue those actions.”

Plank was driving on I-35, in the area of SE 44th Street, at approximately 1:39 p.m., when he grabbed a rifle, aimed it out of his window and fired multiple rounds at the pursuing officers. He fired again less than a minute later, just north of Grand Boulevard, Gourley said.

An officer who was parked on the inside shoulder at the 2500 block of I-35 South fired at Plank’s vehicle as it headed north.

Another officer got close to the suspect’s vehicle and also opened fire, somewhere around S.E. 15th Street, Gourley said.

The gunfire did not stop Plank, who continued his flight east on Interstate 40 at high speeds, according to Gourley.

Plank then exited the intestate at Air Depot, drove to Tinker Air Force Base, put his pickup into park, held his rifle out of the window and appeared to surrender.

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The suspect being taken into custody. Image KFOR

However, he did not cooperate as law enforcement members from multiple departments surrounded him. Officers tackled him to the ground, Gourley said.

Officers used a Taser on Plank to subdue Plank and take him into custody.

Plank was injured during the arrest. He was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Johnson held a news conference shortly after the arrest. He broke down in tears as he spoke about the grave injuries his deputies suffered. Shortly later, officials announced that Swartz, a father and a grandfather, died from his wounds.

A procession of law enforcement personnel escorted Swartz’s body from OU Health to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Johnson reflected during last week’s news conference on the massive law enforcement response during the pursuit to apprehend Plank.

“When you look at the video of the pursuit, you see guys coming from all over to help our guys out. That means the world to me. That meant the absolute world to me, and I could not be more grateful for that,” Johnson said.

A bag full of firearms was found inside the boat hitched to the pickup. Gourley did not have specifications on Plank’s rifle.

The officers who returned fire at Plank during the highway chase – Sgt. Matt Patten and Officer Dakota Boxwell – were placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine after an officer uses a firearm in the line of duty.

Gourley said while it is not yet known how Plank obtained his guns, it is clear what he planned to do with them.

“There was plenty of information yesterday inside that home, and I won’t go into a lot of detail on it, but I can tell you with 100 percent confidence he was planning on killing any law enforcement that came to his house, 100 percent. It wouldn’t have mattered what uniform you wore that day, if you were law enforcement that was his plan,” Gourley said.

Law enforcement members across Central Oklahoma and throughout the state were shattered by the death of Swartz, a true public servant who was revered for his character and dedication to helping others.

Swartz’s funeral was held last Friday, with scores of law enforcement officers in attendance to honor their fallen comrade.

Johnson described Swartz as the definition of a hero.

“A woman who tried to commit suicide is still alive and now thriving because of him. A little boy who Bobby would bring apples to now has a role model and our nation has a hero. Those of us who knew Bobby are better because of him. He showed us how to love without boundaries or judgment. He was an amazing father who couldn’t talk about his family without smiling, and that always made us smile,” the Sheriff said.