Suspect Who Tried To Set Fires Dies

Monday, September 26th 2011, 7:01 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A suspect is dead tonight after struggling with police at a northwest Oklahoma City gas station.

It all happened after officers say the man tried to set several fires at a nearby apartment complex.

"He was high on P.C.P., tripping out trying to start every apartment on fire," said Ramon Mitcher, who saw the man wandering around the complex.

Witnesses say first the man tried to start an apartment on fire,

"I went and asked him to leave the property and then he appeared with some charcoal lighter fluid and started squirting it on a door and tried to light it," said Debbie Schweickart, the complex apartment manager

Then witness say he turned his attention to a jeep in the parking lot.

"He walked around and took his shirt off, put gas on it and just lit the car, just lit it on fire," said Mitcher.

That's when Mitcher says he called police.

Meanwhile the man went into the Okie Mart convenience store on Northwest 105th and Western and barricaded himself in a bathroom.

According to police, officers arriving on the scene, believing the man may harm himself, busted down the door.

"Once inside our officers did get into a struggle with this subject, he did become unresponsive and he was ultimately transported to an area hospital," said Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

The man died a short time later.

Police aren't saying what kind of force was used on the individual.

Investigators have to wait 48 hours before talking to the officers involved.

Police have not released the suspect's name.

The manager of the apartment complex says the man did not live there, but his mother did.