OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Authorities have identified a man who is accused of shooting and killing an Oklahoma County deputy on Monday.
An Oklahoma City Police Department official told KFOR that the suspect has been identified as Benjamin Plank.
Plank is accused of shooting and killing Sgt. Bobby Swartz and injuring a yet-to-be identified deputy, who were serving eviction papers at the home in southwest Oklahoma City.
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.
“Please keep the family of Sgt. Bobby Swartz in your prayers. Bobby was killed this afternoon serving lockout paperwork,” Sheriff’s Office officials said on social media.
The deputy who is still alive is listed as stable at OU Health in Oklahoma City. His name has not yet been released.
Sheriff Tommie Johnson broke down in tears as he spoke about the deputies during a news conference that began around 2:40 p.m. Both deputies were still alive at the time of Johnson’s news conference, receiving ongoing treatment from emergency medical personnel.
“It’s a sad day for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office,” Johnson said as he struggled to hold back tears.
Johnson said two deputies were serving an eviction notice at a home.
KFOR earlier learned that the home is located at S.W. 78th and Youngs in Oklahoma City.
The deputies made contact with a person at the front door, according to Johnson. He said the deputies then went to the back door. Information was not provided on why the deputies moved to the backdoor.
A male suspect at the home was armed with a gun.
“They went around to the backdoor, and that’s when the shooting began,” Johnson said. “[The suspect] shot the first deputy. The second deputy tried to get that deputy out of the way of gunfire, and then he was struck as well.”
At least one of the two deputies was able to return fire at the suspect, Capt. Valerie Littlejohn, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, said during a separate new conference at Tinker Air Force Base that began around 3:40 p.m.
Both deputies were rushed to the hospital.
The suspect fled the scene in a pickup that had a boat attached to its rear, heading east.
Law enforcement personnel quickly located the suspect’s vehicle, not far from the scene of the shooting, and pursued him, according to Littlejohn.
Police radio traffic said officials spotted the suspect’s vehicle along I-35, and that the suspect began shooting out of a window at police.
“During the pursuit, the suspect was firing rounds at the officers, and we had officers returning fire at the suspect,” Littlejohn said.
Chopper 4 saw the suspect’s vehicle enter I-40, heading eastbound with about 20 law enforcement officers in pursuit.
The suspect could be seen speeding and hitting multiple construction cones as he entered the construction area of I-40 near Del City.
The chase approached the area of Tinker Air Force Base.
Law enforcement personnel caught up to the suspect, and the pursuit ended at Tinker’s entrance.
Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies took the suspect into custody without further incident.
Littlejohn said it is currently unknown why the suspect surrendered at Tinker.
“At this time, we don’t know why he came here – if he purposefully came here or if he took a wrong turn,” she said.
Neither the suspect nor pursuing law enforcement personnel were struck by gunfire during the pursuit on the highway, according to Littlejohn.
“It’s fortunate that none of the other officers were struck by gunfire,” she said.
A type of rifle was found in the suspect’s possession, according to Littlejohn. No further details were provided about the rifle.
Oklahoma City police will handle the investigation into the shooting.
The Oklahoma law enforcement community is sending their love and support to the Sheriff’s Office, Johnson said.
“Law enforcement is a tight community, and I’m so thankful… they were screaming across the state for my guys,” Johnson said as he broke down in tears.
Gov. Kevin Stitt posted the following remarks on Twitter about the deadly shooting:
Two @OkCountySheriff deputies were shot in the line of duty, one was killed.
I spoke with Sheriff Tommie Johnson. We are praying for the fallen deputy’s family and for the deputy still fighting for their life.
I am grateful for @OHPDPS and the @OKCPD swift actions to prevent any further loss of life. Today and every day, Oklahoma stands with our law enforcement community.”Gov. Kevin Stitt
Aaron Brilbeck, the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office, was also in tears as he discussed the shooting.
Brilbeck described both deputies as seasoned members of the Sheriff’s Office.
He said several deputies were serving eviction notices Monday, which he described as a routine procedure.
KFOR has learned more about the home where the shooting occurred.
Court documents state that someone at that house filed a victim protective order (VPO) against a family member within the past month.
The homeowner tried to evict a family member. A judge granted that request within the past week.
KFOR believes that the lockout order that the deputies were serving at the home Monday was part of the eviction request made by the homeowner.
The homeowner said the family member owed at least $1,500 in back rent, according to court documents.
Community members and law enforcement personnel across the state are heartbroken in the wake of the deadly shooting.
Law enforcement members gathered outside OU Health in Oklahoma City, in support of the deputy who is fighting to survive, as well as the family, friends, colleagues and memory of the deputy who was killed.
A procession of law enforcement members escorted Swartz’s body as it was being transported from OU Health to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Police departments, sheriff’s offices and agencies across Central Oklahoma posted and shared condolence messages:
“Our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.”Oklahoma City Police Department
“On behalf of the entire Oklahoma County family, I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Sgt. Swartz and to the other deputies involved in Monday’s tragic shooting. Three sworn law enforcement officers were performing vital duties when they were maliciously attacked by a suspect who also fired upon other law enforcement officers and endangered the public in a lengthy chase. We owe a great debt to the officers who brought that pursuit to a successful conclusion with no additional injuries or loss of life.
Most of all our thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to the Swartz family, and by extension to all of the members of the Sheriff’s office. May they know that we stand with them in this time of loss.”Brian Maughan, Chairman of the Board of Oklahoma County Commissioners
“Our condolences and prayers go out to the members of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department and the families of the officer who lost his life today and the officer who was injured. Members of the 72nd Air Base Wing Security Forces Squadron assisted local law enforcement officials apprehend a suspect after a high speed chase ended at the main gate at Tinker Air Force Base. We are proud of our Security Forces defenders and grateful for our long-standing partnership with local law enforcement.”Tinker Air Force Base
“Please keep our neighbors at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in your prayers as they are facing the loss of a deputy and another seriously injured from the events that occurred today. We as a Sheriff’s Office will stand beside them in their trying time and will keep them in our prayers.”Logan County Sheriff’s Office
“We would like to send our Prayers to the 2 Deputy’s that was shot this afternoon. Prayers for their families as well. Also prayers for all the Deputies, Troopers and Officers involved in this incident.”Grady County Sheriff’s Office
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time.”Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
“Our Thoughts & Prayers Are With The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Today…”McClain County Sheriff’s Office
“Our hearts are with our brothers and sisters at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. We’re sending our deepest sympathies to all affected.”Edmond Police Department
“On behalf of Chief Robinson and all of our Officers:
Our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters at Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and family of their
Fallen Deputy. Our prayers continue for the hospitalized Deputy that is fighting for their life.
Courtesy, Service, Protection”Del City Police Department
“Rest in peace, Sergeant.
We will never forget your service and sacrifice.
Our prayers remain with the other wounded Deputy and the men and women of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.”Guthrie Police Department
Former Oklahoma County sheriffs John Whetsel and P.D. Taylor each released a statement, paying tribute to Swartz:
“Bobby was a good man, a superb and dedicated deputy who served with pride and professionalism. He sacrificed his life for the citizens of Oklahoma County. I was proud of his service and his friendship. May he Rest In Peace.”John Whetsel
“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.”P.D. Taylor
When asked what the community can do for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Brilbeck simply said “pray.”