The Duncan Banner

February 10, 2013

Marlow standoff ends quietly

The Banner Staff
The Duncan Banner

MARLOW — Just after 11 p.m. Friday, Marlow Police received reports that a gun was being fired in the 300 block of Eighth Street, near Apache St.

Police Chief Jimmy Williams said his officers went to patrol the area to investigate and also heard the gunfire. Knowing the individual who was possibly responsible, the officers quickly went into action to make sure that the neighborhood was secure and safe.

That included moving people from a few homes.

“We quickly set up a perimeter. We tried to talk to him but we weren’t getting anywhere.”

Five hours later and numerous agencies, the man was placed into custody and taken for medical evaluation. Williams said the man doesn’t have an  extensive criminal history, but he does have some medical issues which could have escalated the situation.

Several factors played into the favor of law enforcement during the event. That included a shift change so Marlow, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers were all quickly on the scene. Initially, there were about 15 officers at the scene.

Also, Duncan Police responded in the mutual aid effort, including sending two negotiators over to help talk the individual into giving himself up. But when that failed and the fact the man would randomly shoot, Williams said for the safety of all officers and the  community, OHP initiated its tactical team. The OHP team has additional resources and training to handle a hostile environment.

“It was a safer way to do this for the community if a gun is involved. It doesn’t mean the situation is severe, but this is what you are supposed to do, is work together,” Williams said. The incident became the jurisdiction of OHP while it was ongoing.

“You bring in the tactical team and turn the scen over to them because of their training. They bring all of their people and you always bring in more than you need, that way if it deteriorates, you have what you need.”

Because of the medical issues, Williams declined to provide the suspect’s name at this time.

“It’s not always a clearcut thing,” he said, noting that sometimes getting a person help becomes priority over immediate incarceration.

He said medical professionals were on site and some of the medications the 53-year-old longtime Marlow resident was on could have contributed to the problem of the man shooting off the gun. While nobody was hurt, one of the bullets did graze a police cruiser and another hit a fence. It wasn’t possible to approach the home safely, Williams said, without being fired upon. In Lawton, only the day before, a suicide-by-cop incident claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman. Williams did not believe that this was the man’s intent Friday in Marlow.

“He has every right to legal firearms and he had a long weapon, rifle. It wasn’t an assault weapon and he gave up when OHP approached the home.” Those OHP teams were in an armored unit for their own safety.

Williams also said they were in contact with the man’s parents who were extremely helpful.

“I have to commend all the officers involved. We appreciate everyone.” Williams said during the incident, they were in contact with the District Attorney’s office and will be talking with them again Monday as they decide upon what charges should be filed.