Law Enforcement Community Helps Seminole County Heal
By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9
SEMINOLE, Oklahoma -- After tragedy struck the Seminole County Sheriff's Department, officers from across the state are stepping in to help the healing and show their support.
Three people were shot Sunday when a man armed with a rifle and pistol opened fire. Two of the victims, Deputy Chase Whitebird and Captain Marvin Williams of the Seminole County Sheriff's Department, were killed.
While some deputies have returned to work, others said they just aren't ready.
McClain County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon McDonald spent his day off volunteering for the Seminole County Sheriff's Department.
"When I heard what happened to the two deputies, my heart went out to their families, to the department, to everybody affected by the situation," McDonald said.
McDonlad and numerous others like him are giving up their time to help patrol Seminole County during a time which has devastated the small department.
"The mental state the feeling of loss of our family, of our deputies has been very difficult," said Jesse Naputi, Seminole County Undersheriff.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is also assisting with the healing process.
"We want them to move on. We're not going to forget the officers, but we want these officers and the dispatchers to be able to carry on," said Lt. Terry Morris, Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The flags now fly at half staff in Seminole and badges are covered by black bands. Yet, the Seminole Sheriff's Department is feeling the strength of its law enforcement community as well as those in town.
"The community is there for us as we dedicate our lives to being the good guys to help in our community as much as we can. It's taken an unfortunate incident to realize that we're all partners, we're here together," Naputi said.
The suspect, Ezekiel Holbert, who opened fire is being held without bond in Pottawotamie County. He was moved there for his own protection.
As for the third shooting victim, Jennifer Bowen, family members said she is improving. She's now off the ventilator and is sitting up.
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