Suspect In Ellis County Deputy Shooting Believed Dead
ELLIS COUNTY, Oklahoma - The shooting of an Ellis County Sheriff's deputy leads to a nine-hour standoff then ends with a deadly fire. Two firefighters pulled the deputy to safety and the suspect is believed dead.
It all started on Saturday just before noon when an Ellis County deputy went to a home just northwest of Fargo to check on a possible suicide but when he arrived, the person inside opened fire.
"It was just all a shock to all of us that it was even happening," said Ellis County Sheriff Shane Booth.
Sheriff Booth rushed to the scene when he got word that one of his deputies was down.
"Once he arrived on scene," said Sheriff Booth, "he knocked on the door and, immediately as he knocked, a shot rang out, striking him in the lower left leg."
Deputy Dave Thomas didn't return fire and tried to take cover.
"Our only concern was getting him out of there before he got shot again," said Ronald Elliot, a firefighter with the Fargo Fire Department.
Elliott and fellow firefighter Aaron Bergeron heard the call come in about the shooting.
"When we got there," said Elliot, "he was out on the side of the road."
Under fire, the two got Deputy Thomas out.
"I don't know if the shots were actually fired at us," said Bergeron, "but there were shots ringing out down there when we pulled that deputy out."
When Sheriff Booth arrived, he said the suspect continued to fire from inside the home.
"We were behind cover," said Sheriff Booth, "and two shots rang out and I saw one of them come between us. Actually, that was the last contact we had with him."
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol's tactical team and OSBI agents arrived to what became a nine-hour standoff.
"I tried to get him to talk to me," said Sheriff Booth, "and people were calling him to see if he would answer the phone nobody ever had contact."
Even tear gas couldn't flush him out and then the home caught fire. When firefighters put out the flames, they discovered one person dead inside, believed to be the suspect.
"We were pretty taken back about the whole scene really," said Sheriff Booth. "No issues ever out of that residence."
Investigators have not released the name of the suspect as the incident is still under investigation.
Deputy Thomas is expected to be okay. He was treated at a local hospital and is now recuperating at home.