Lawton_Authortitives have found the weapon accused killer Joshua Muller stashed. The 33-year-old Lawton man was taken into custody without incident in Eastern Comanche County after a massive manhunt. He was found with ammunition on him, but no weapon. Law officers knew he had two rifles and they'd already found one. So the big question was where did he hide the second one?
During questioning Wednesday, Muller told Tulsa Police today where he hid it, and Thursday, Comanche County Sheriff's Deputies recovered it right on the perimeter of the search area. Just feet away from where our 7 News crew was stationed.
Thursday Sheriff Kenny Stradley said Muller hid his second rifle when he ran from the house after deputies threw in the tear gas and started a fire. So when authorities set up their perimeter in the field around him, he couldn't get back to it.
Police Chief Ronnie Smith said in a phone interview Thursday he thinks Muller may have been trying to get to that rifle for a "shootout" or, perhaps, even kill himself, because he told authorities he would not be taken alive. And now there's evidence that was his plan. Sheriff Stradley says they found a suicide note in his red Dodge pickup.
Muller's mother-in-law said Wednesday Muller sold his first rifle to Ray Mills for $90. And Sheriff Stradley says his deputies found that rifle in Mills' house. It had a bayonet on it.
The search hounds kept tracing Muller back to the area near the house, right on the perimeter of the barricade near where the media were stationed, and it turns out Muller hid the second rifle under a road bridge.
"He probably hid the rifle because walking down the street would cause a lot of attention to you carrying a rifle," Stradley said. The SKS Assault Rifle had a clip with about 32 rounds in it. And when Muller surrendered, he still had ammunition in his pockets. "If he'd have gotten a hold of that rifle, there's no telling what could happen," Stradley said. "We already know what he was capable of."
Though the hounds were able to track him, they were never able to find him as he moved. But, authorities say he had excellent survival skills, and was able to hide himself well. "We do know that he had leaves and grass piled up on top of him," Stradley said, "and the tack team came by within two feet of his head, and walked by."