OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Two Oklahoma County deputies were shot near Southwest 78th and Youngs early Monday afternoon, resulting in one of the deputies passing away just hours later.
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Aaron Brilbeck said it all started with a lockout warrant being served to a home in that area.
Brilbeck told KFOR the warrant is to serve as an eviction notice, alerting the resident to vacate the home as soon as possible. He added this warrant is “very routine.”
As the two deputies were delivering the warrant, Brilbeck said they spoke with someone at the front door.
Deputies eventually made their way to the back of the home where they were met with gunshots.
Brilbeck explained one deputy was shot and another tried to pull him out of harm’s way, but was shot as well in the process.
Both deputies were rushed to OU Health in Oklahoma City by ambulance.
The suspect then fled the scene driving eastbound in a gray pickup that had a boat attached to its rear.
KFOR was driving on the opposite side of I-40 and witnessed the pursuit.
The suspect was hauling the boat as roughly 40-50 cruisers were tailing him. He fired a gun at law enforcement personnel as the chase was happening.
All exits and on-ramps within a mile radius were blocked off by other deputies, but eventually the suspect took the Tinker Air Force Depot exit.
The suspect then turned into the entrance of Tinker Air Force, where he was then apprehended, hog-tied and placed in a cruiser.
The suspect has been identified as Benjamin Plank. He was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon.
Oklahoma City Police Department officials are taking on the investigation.
The two officers involved in the shooting were rushed into OU Health where they were provided immediate medical attention.
Sergeant Bobby Swartz, one of the deputies shot, was pronounced dead just hours after the shooting though.
Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III attempted to hold a press conference outside of OU Health saying, “It’s a sad day for us at the County Sheriff’s Office.”
Johnson could hardly make it through a sentence, though, as he was visibly emotional. He tried the best he could to give a statement, but apologized to the media and eventually walked off.
Brilbeck said these two deputies were more than co-workers, they were friends, family and, of course, brothers to those in blue. He also said they were both veteran deputies who had over 20 years of experience on the force.
Brilbeck was also in shambles, and when asked the tough question of what was going through his mind when he got wind of what happened, a wave of sadness washed over him as he tried to hold it together. “They’re my friends,” he said through tears.
Brilbeck described the two deputies as “extremely professional and extremely careful.”
Retired Oklahoma Coutny Sheriff P.D. Taylor said, “I worked with Sgt. Bobby Swartz for several years at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, he was a deputy who showed up and worked hard every day. Today, I mourn with his family, friends and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. I also pray for quick healing for the second deputy who was shot and injured. Bobby served with distinction and this senseless tragedy shows there’s no such thing as routine for our dedicated law enforcement officers who keep us all safe. I am proud to have served with him and am blessed to have called Sgt. Swartz a friend.”
A friend of Sgt. Swartz’s also took to Facebook, saying he was a “good man, a superb and dedicated deputy who served with pride and professionalism.”
A procession was later led by dozens of deputies as they led Sgt. Swartz’s body to the Medical Examiner’s Office, about a mile north of OU Health.
Deputies flooded to their cruisers in devastation, hugging one another and breaking down.
From Moore, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City and more, officers and deputies traveled to OU Health to be there in support of the fallen.
The other deputy who was shot is in stable condition, according to Brilbeck. He’s now hoping for a full and speedy recovery.
Brilbeck is asking for one thing from the community and that is to pray.
According to Brilbeck, an deputy-involved shooting like Monday’s hasn’t happened in what he guessed to be over 100 years.
Information regarding who the other deputy is hasn’t been released at this time, but it is expected to be released Tuesday morning.