Suspect surrenders in standoff

Thursday, May 8th 2008, 9:21 am

By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- A man who allegedly shot a veteran police officer then held authorities at bay for nearly 11 hours surrendered Thursday evening.

John Thomas, 55, was arrested on accusations of shooting with intent to kill, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, violation of victim protection order and non-specified gun charges, police said. 

Thomas surrendered about 6:35 p.m. Thursday after barricading himself in a house for about 11 hours with police outside his door, Sgt. Paco Balderrama said.

The incident started at around 7:50 a.m. Thursday when police said they were called out to the house at 3017 NE 9 Street on a disturbance call. Police said the caller indicated a family member had broken into the home and taken hold of several guns inside the house.

When Sgt. Clay Williams and Sgt. Greg Kennedy arrived at the house, one of Thomas' family members told the officers she had a Victim's Protective Order against Thomas, who was inside the house, police said. According to police, the officers went inside to confront Thomas, who was armed, and ordered him to put down his weapon.  Thomas did not comply and shot Williams once in the shoulder, near his collarbone, police said.

"It appears that Sgt. Williams and another officer made it just inside the front of the house when they confronted the suspect," Public Information Officer Sgt. Steve McCool said.

Kennedy dragged Williams outside the house to safety and a police standoff ensued.

Oklahoma City Marshals were a short distance away serving warrants when they heard the gunfire and came to the aid of the two officers, police said.

Williams was taken to a local area hospital where he was later released in good condition, his son said.

At around 10:15 a.m., a tactical team with the Oklahoma City Police Department had surrounded the house.

"We do not believe that he has hostages in there," Balderrama said. "We're trying everything possible to end this peacefully."

At 2:30 p.m., police said shots were still being fired from the house and that they would not move closer to the house until officers are not at risk.

Anyone believed to be in danger was evacuated from the area, McCool said.

Police moved news crews out of gunshot range and traffic was being diverted in the area.

Upon searching the house, detectives said they recovered a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, and 26 spent .380 casings.

Balderrama said Thomas has a lengthy criminal record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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