SEMINOLE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Police say a fight between husband and wife turned deadly Sunday in the small Oklahoma town of Strother, causing the community’s entire school district to close Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s just a sad situation for the kids,” said Police Chief Chris Coker, with the Seminole Nation Lighthorse Police Department. “My heart goes out to them, having to see that.”
Lighthorse Police said they responded to a late Sunday night call for help at a home behind Strother High School.
That’s where they said the school maintenance worker, Douglas Vaughn Switch Jr. lived with his wife, Kim Switch, and their kids.
“It seems like they were arguing like married couples do, but I don’t know what the argument was about,” said Chief Coker.
Matthew Crabtree lives nearby. He told News 4 he was the one who dialed 911 after answering a frantic knock on his front door. It was one of the Switch’s kids.
“We let that child inside and she told us what happened. So, at that point, we called the police,” said Crabtree, not wanting to describe the trauma the child endured.
Officers said when they arrived at the home, they found Kim Switch dead on the porch, she had been shot.
“Once, in the head,” said Chief Coker. “Like, on top.”
Douglas Vaughn Switch Jr., 46, was taken into custody.
Officers said he could face tribal and federal charges, since the crime happened on native land and both he and his wife are Native Americans.
According to online court records, Switch is no stranger to the law. He’s faced criminal charges stemming from assault and battery cases from the early 2000s.
“Did we background check him and say ‘This is probably ok to have around our kids?’” said Crabtree. “He probably should not be in that kind of position where he has the keys to get in and out anytime he wanted to go, to go in any room possible. It would have been in that background, especially living on campus there.”
KFOR called the Strother Superintendent’s office twice, but no one answered.
The district posted the following statement on Facebook:
“To all Strother parents, students, and community members, an unfathomable tragedy occurred late Sunday evening at the residence premises located on the Strother School campus. The tragedy resulted in the death of an adult female, who is also the mother of 3 Strother students. A criminal investigation is ongoing surrounding the unspeakable tragic events leading to the death. The alleged perpetrator has been taken into custody.
School will once again not be in session tomorrow. We will return to school on Wednesday. Grief counselors will be available to meet with our students and staff. In addition, supportive services will be available to students to help them cope with this terrible tragedy in the upcoming days and weeks ahead.
We offer heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the tragedy. We will make it through this together being strong for this family and one another. Our District has faced tragedy before and came through it a stronger school and community, as a result.”
The school posted online that the campus is closed until Wednesday.