Suspect accused of starting several fires on Oklahoma wildlife management area, firing multiple shots at firefighters arrested

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OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – A suspect was arrested after allegedly starting several fires on a wildlife management area and then firing multiple shots at responding firefighters.

On Friday, Game Wardens Lt. Max Crocker, of Texas County, and Mike Baker, of Beaver County, assisted the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol with a manhunt on the Optima Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

According to Oklahoma game wardens, the search was for a suspect accused of starting several fires on the WMA, and then allegedly shot at responding firefighters with a semiautomatic rifle.

Photo courtesy: Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page

The suspect had reportedly been camping on the area illegally and had been previously asked to leave.

Around 9:15 p.m., the suspect surrendered “after some tense moments,” officials say, and was taken into custody by the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and OHP.

No one was injured during the incident.

On Saturday, Baker returned to the scene to try and find the firearm that was reportedly used by the suspect to shoot at firefighters.

Baker talked to two firefighters who pointed him to an area that the suspect was seen allegedly starting fires after firing shots at them.

The tracks believed to belong to the suspect were found by Baker, who followed them to a point where he found a semiautomatic rifle and two empty magazines, believed to be the same weapon used by the suspect.

Photo courtesy: Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page

A Texas County deputy was then called to the scene to collect evidence.

The suspect’s name has not yet been released.

The Texas County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone that has information, videos, or pictures from the incident to contact them at (580) 338-4000.

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