STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) - Officers and deputies in Stephens and Cotton County were involved in a high speed chase that ended in shots fired overnight. The incident is now being investigated by OSBI.
It all started Monday around 11:30 p.m. when a Cotton County deputy was making a traffic stop on a car without a license plate, but instead of pulling over, it sped away.
The Cotton County deputy and a Walters police officer followed the suspect on a high speed chase that lasted for twenty miles through two counties, starting in Cotton County and ending in Stephens County, with speeds reaching over 100 miles per hour at times.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Stephens County Sheriff and Comanche Police Department were called out to assist.
“As the vehicle approached the city of Comanche, approximately two miles west of the down town area of Comanche, stop sticks was deployed by Comanche Police in attempt to stop the vehicle that was driving in excess of 100 MPH," said Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney. "The vehicle swerved to avoid the stop sticks, almost striking the officer who put the stop sticks in the road, and at that time collided with the bar ditch and a stop sign located in that intersection.”
Law enforcement attempted to box the car in, but Sheriff McKinney said the driver reversed, almost striking at least two officers.
“It was a very close, very dangerous situation,” said Sheriff McKinney. "It could have been deputies injured severely, or even killed. They did return fire to stop the vehicle and stopped the occupants, both were struck by gunfire from the deputies and police officers that were on the scene.”
“This is not something any officer wants to go through," said Walters Police Chief Tommy Stranahan. “It’s extremely difficult on the officer.”
Three law enforcement officials fired shots at the two suspects, a man and a woman. Both were taken to Duncan Regional Hospital for treatment. The man has since been released and is now in Cotton County Jail.
“It is rare for this to happen in a community like ours," said Chief Stranahan. "We’re very fortunate that we work so well with the Sheriff’s Department and train with the Sheriff’s Department and that we work well together. That helps in situations like this.”
OSBI is now in charge of this investigation. When it is complete, they will turn it over to the District Attorney, who will then decide if the officers were justified.
The suspects’ identities have not yet been released. The male suspect is in Cotton County Jail, and the woman is still being observed at Duncan Regional, but will be brought to the jail, as well. The three officials who fired shots are currently on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.