Lawton_Four Duncan police officers are on leave after a deadly shootout with a man who took police on a high speed chase which turned into a hostage situation. It started in Lawton when police noticed a car traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour. Lawton police called off the chase and Duncan Police were alerted - but it was too late.
After hitting a car from behind, the driver abandoned his vehicle and entered a nearby Braum's, grabbed an employee and held him at knifepoint - most employees and patrons were able to make it out of the restaurant. Investigators say the suspect found a knife on the premises and used it to keep the 19 year old victim captive. Police say there wasn't even a motive for the 55 year old Deral Ritter's madness.
"He had taken the hostage into a back area of the store - out of the normal area where the customers are," says Assistant Duncan Police Chief Rick Lang. That's when officers say they started to negotiate with Ritter. After only five minutes, one of the officers fired a round at the man. "His demeanor was extremely agitated and hostile and continued to escalate during the entire confrontation, which lasted less than five minutes," says Lang.
Officers say their efforts fell upon deaf ears, so one of the officers opened fire at close range and Ritter fell to the floor. "It wasn't decided by officers," says Lang. "That was decided by the suspect, his actions gave him [the officer] no choice but to fire shots."
The 19 year old hostage walked away with only minor injuries. Investigators are still baffled by Ritter's motives. "Usually there is some type of motive involved," Lang says. "Either domestic issue, a money issue, drugs; we can find no motive for this whatsoever."