Chickasha Officer, Shot During September Standoff, Recalls The Incident
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma - A combination of police and military training helped a Chickasha police officer survive a barrage of bullets in September.
In an exclusive interview with News 9, Sgt. Matt Schoolfield spoke Tuesday about the incident, in which he was shot three times and very nearly lost his life.
"Some of my experience in life from around the world kind of helped prepare me for that day," Schoolfield said in an interview at his home in Chickasha.
The day was September 17, 2017. Chickasha PD's tactical team was serving a search warrant at the home of Alex Klingler and came under fire. Schoolfield, at the front of the team, took two bullets in the arm and one in the ear.
"It's an eye-opening experience," said Schoolfield, "to realize we are talking less than an inch possibly from an injury that could've taken me instantly."
He says the gunshots dropped him and left him lying right there on the suspect's porch.
"My first [thought] was survival," Schoolfield recalled, "I've got to get off of this porch."
Schoolfield knew his fellow officers were worried about him.
"I think I told the guys on the radio, 'I can't get to my tourniquet, because if I raise up then it just puts me in more danger,'" Schoolfield said.
With bullets still flying, Schoolfield says he began contemplating how he could crawl to take cover.
"I knew adrenaline was a factor to help keep moving," said Schoolfield. "The longer I wait around, the greater risk for me to be shot again, so I just kept moving."
Ten years of experience as a police officer helped, but Schoolfield's 19 years with the Oklahoma National Guard helped just as much.
"It is probably the closest thing you can get to being in a warzone," Schoolfield said. "I don't know how many shots were fired."
He says, in his head, he ran through checklist of things he learned in the military for warzones -- only this was in Chickasha.
"That's the bad thing about our job," explained Schoolfield. "We are always reacting, so if someone has bad intentions, and they are waiting on you, they are always going to have the upper hand...for a moment at least."
Schoolfield says he hopes this moment is brief. He plans to get back to work as soon as possible, but first things first, he still has more surgery and a lot rehabilitation ahead.