Cotton County Sheriff describes shootout

Kelly Valdez
Kelly Valdez

Cotton County_Police say that Monday afternoon's fatal shootout between a suspect, the Cotton County Sheriff's Department, and the Temple Police Department, left 31-year-old Kelly Valdez dead.  Officials say that Valdez was awaiting a court date on a DUI and according to a police report had told people earlier in the day that he "would not go back to prison," and "the first person who tried to stop him would be shot."

Cotton County Sheriff Paul Jeffrey says it all began when Valdez made a bomb threat that morning to anyone who might put him back in jail.  Jeffrey says Valdez then proceeded to steal a nine millimeter gun from a home outside of Walters.  Following that, he stole prescription drugs from a friend, and crashed his van into another vehicle before finally arriving at the house where the shootout took place.  "It's pretty crazy for Temple, America," said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey says that an incident like that is something he never wants to be a part of again - being caught right in the middle of a fatal shootout.  "I hollered at the individual to throw down his gun 'cause he was gonna be shot," said Jeffrey.  Then, one of Valdez's bullets fired dangerously close.  "[It] hit my window and the door and creased me with part of the fragments."

Investigators say that once Valdez arrived at the house, some old friends managed to take his handgun away.  "They tried to get him not to do what he ultimately did," said Jeffrey.  However, Valdez went back outside to his van and retrieved a deer rifle - which was about the same time police arrived.  Valdez opened fire, and Cotton County Sheriff's deputies, along with Temple Police returned fire.  "We have several houses there that some of our rounds and some of his rounds shot through," said Jeffrey.  Eventually, officers fired the fatal shot.

Jeffrey says they're still investigating how Valdez obtained the rifle and ammunition.  He says he believes that they may have been stolen in another burglary, and on top of that, several witnesses claim he also had an AK-47 earlier in the week.  Authorities have yet to confirm that claim, or find a weapon.

Police say there were about six officers involved in the shootout, and the investigation has been turned over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.  You can count on 7News to bring you any new developments.