An arrest warrant has been issued fourth suspect in a July 4 fireworks assault against Oklahoma City firefighters.
The night of July 5, three men were arrested at a Spencer apartment after firefighters said the men launched mortar-style fireworks at them.
Oklahoma City Police said 21-year-old Marquail Patton changed clothes to avoid being identified by witnesses that night, but they eventually tracked him down as a suspect. An arrest warrant has now been issued for Patton for five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
“To be honest, this is the first time I've heard of it in my career. I've been on the department almost 24 years,” said OCFD Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland.
Oklahoma City firefighters said it was an ambush at Fred Factory Garden Apartments in Spencer. They went to the government housing complex to put out a dumpster fire and someone started shooting large, mortar-style fireworks at them.
“You certainly don’t expect fireworks to get shot at you,” said Stanaland. “Actual mortars that were being shot which contain quite a bit of gunpowder. They are highly explosive, very dangerous.”
Police said the mortars have super-loaded artillery shells that burst into the sky, but instead were exploding near the firefighters. The arrest warrant for Patton said the explosions caused temporary hearing loss to all the firefighters.
“I'm not sure if they are completely recovered yet, but they are recovered enough to be back to work and thankfully they are back to duty,” Stanaland said.
At the scene, police arrested Jaylen Edwards and Derek Shaw for Felony Threat to use Explosives, as well as Demarrea Smith for outstanding warrants and resisting arrest.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department appreciates the severity of the charges filed against the suspects.
“It's going to be a tough lesson for those that did this, but certainly our firefighters were put in harm’s way,” added Stanaland.
Investigators said Patton is the fourth and final suspect in this case.