OK Communities Mourn The Loss Of Officers Killed During Chase

Thursday, January 23rd 2014, 11:57 pm
By: News 9

A western Oklahoma community mourns the loss of two law enforcement officers who died during a high-speed pursuit.

A Burns Flat Officer and a Washita county sheriff's deputy were attempting to pull over a suspect when he took off a mile south of Dill City. The investigation into how the two officers collided is still underway. The suspect died in a single car accident three miles down the road.

Two communities are mourning the losses.

"He had a mission to protect this community, this area. His purpose was fulfilled," said a local pastor. 

A west Oklahoma community comes together to embrace a family.

"This family needs to know that this community is here for them, and will always be here for them after the fact. They will always have somebody to lean on," said neighbor Sarah Ball.

OHP has not officially released the names of the two officers, but this small Canute community says Washita county undersheriff Brian Beck died doing what he loved: protecting and serving his community.

1/23/2014 Related Story: Police: 3 Dead Including 2 Lawmen, In Oklahoma Chase

"He was a very outstanding individual here. He helped everybody out as much as possible. I mean, he helped everybody," said Ball.

"It's like a dream, like maybe you would wake up in the morning. It's hard to understand," said longtime neighbor and friend, Kevin Merz.

Just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Beck and a Burns Flat police officer were attempting to serve a felony warrant out of Sentinel for 27-year-old Quentin Lee Johnson. At some point, Johnson took off and lead the two on a chase.

"We don't know exactly how they collided, but their vehicles made contact," said Lt. Brian Orr, OHP Spokesperson.

The two officers died on the scene. Moments later, the suspect crashes killing himself in a single car accident.

"Yes, it hits hard. It hits very hard when one of our brothers loses their life," said Orr.

Beck leaves behind two young daughters, 11-year-old Kami and 18-year-old Melinda.

"She's so strong. She has a lot of emotions I'm sure, and this is all for you guys," said Ball to 11-year-old Kami.

People in the community identify the Burns Flat officer as Kristian Willhight. News 9 is told he was a single father of a 4-year-old daughter. Law enforcement officers from around the state and across the country are sending their condolences.