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Duncan police investigate stabbing with a message

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DUNCAN, Okla._A City of Duncan employee is recovering from several stab wounds from when he was attacked on the job Monday night at the city's water treatment plant.

Just before 10:00 p.m. Monday, the victim, Rex Hopper, told police he was working alone and finishing up some work at the plant on the city's east side when he saw something strange out of the corner of his eye. He says that's when a masked man dressed in a hoodie and gloves ordered two others, dressed the same, to get him. He was stabbed several times in the stomach, shoulder and leg and rushed to the hospital.

As of now, he is resting at his home. Hopper told police, as far as any enemies, he couldn't think of any. Robbery has also been ruled out because the attackers didn't take anything. It's what happened after the stabbing that has police worried. A message the attackers gave Hopper, giving the police a possible motive behind the brutal stabbing.

"Told him that he was a message to police that no one was safe in Duncan," Detective Bill Fitzhugh said that's the message being relayed to police.

It's a message they are taking very seriously because someone was stabbed, but warns not to worry too much.

"I wouldn't get too cautious about it or not due to the fact that they want to send a message but what we don't know what that message is yet or what it relates to at this time," explained Det. Fitzhugh.

The police report may shine a little light into the message. Hopper told police one of the men pulled the City of Duncan seal on his shirt up and stabbed him through the seal. Another mystery in the stabbing is how they got into the plant.

The entrance is surrounded with cameras, barbed wire, and a mechanical gate. Fitzhugh, however, has no reason to believe it was done by employees.

"Because when I talked to him I said ‘did you recognize any voices, any mannerisms, or anything' he stated ‘no'," said Det. Fitzhugh.

Identifying the attackers is their main obstacle and Fitzhugh says mannerisms are key, especially since they were all covered up.

"It's going to be a little rough, but I think we will be able to figure it out," said Det. Fitzhugh.

As for why the attackers chose the city water plant, which is in a remote location, the detective is still trying to figure that out.

"They might just want to cause havoc in the area just to stir things up," said Fitzhugh.

Fitzhugh says the community plays a huge role in solving crimes when the suspects are covered up by telling police of anything suspicious they may have seen or heard. By Tuesday morning Fitzhugh has says one neighbor nearby saw something out of the ordinary and that will help in solving the case.   

If you have any information that can help solve the stabbing, Fitzhugh implores you to call Duncan police at 580-255-2112.

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