Authorities: Sentinel Police Chief Shot During Bomb Threat Investigation
WASHITA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Officials confirmed with News 9 that the chief of police in Sentinel, Oklahoma, was shot multiple times while investigating a bomb threat Thursday morning. Classes have also been canceled at the Sentinel Public Schools due to the threat.
According to the mayor of Sentinel, a bomb threat was called into the Community Action Center, the head start program, early Thursday morning. As a precaution, Sentinel Public Schools canceled classes at all schools on Thursday.
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the suspect called 911 at about 4 a.m. and identified himself. He told dispatch there was a bomb in the school and he would detonate it at a certain time.
The Washita County Sheriff's Office then called the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Bomb Squad to check for an explosive device at the school. In the meantime, authorities were able to determine where the call came from.
Around 6 a.m. Sentinel Police Chief Louis Ross and two Sheriff's deputies went to a home in the 200 block S. 4th.
Officers entered the home and cleared the first room. But as they entered the second room, a man identified as Dallas Horton shot Chief Ross three times, twice in his bullet proof vest and once in the arm. OSBI said the chief actually borrowed the bullet proof vest from one of the deputies just before entering the home.
After firing numerous shots, Horton surrendered himself to the officers. OSBI officials said no officers fired their weapons during the incident. Horton and his wife were taken into custody for questioning.
According to the OSBI, authorities found some type of explosive device inside the home.
However, the OSBI said Horton will not be arrested at this time. He was taken into investigative detention after the shooting. For the past several hours, OSBI investigators said they extensively interviewed Horton. Facts surrounding the case lead agents to believe Horton was unaware it was officers who made entry.
Horton has been released from police custody.
The mayor said the bullet went all the way through the chief's arm. Chief Ross was transported to Hobart Hospital and then flown to Oklahoma City. Authorities said Ross has been treated and released from the hospital.
Multiple agencies are investigating the crime, including the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the OSBI.
The mayor said classes will resume on Friday.
Sentinel is a town located in Washita County, Oklahoma.