After a difficult Monday where three lost their lives from a double-murder suicide, city officials are extending their thanks to first responders as well as the community and asking for positivity through trying times.
District Attorney Jason Hicks said he is “extremely proud” of the way law enforcement responded and said the community should be, too.
“I think the community in particular — Duncan and greater Stephens county — should be extremely proud of the response that law enforcement officials in this county (had),” Hicks said. “As soon as the initial reports came out and it was that it was a shooting going on at Walmart, and all they knew was shots had been fired at Walmart, these officers didn’t hesitate. (Sgt.) Ron Corcorran was on scene within one minute of the first 911 call. What did he do? He didn’t stop and there was no hesitation. (Sgt.) Corcorran ran into that scene knowing one thing: that shots had been fired and that was it.”
Sgt. Corcorran was the first of many who would respond.
“Other officers responded and didn’t know what was going on at that time at all,” Hicks said.
He said the way they handled the situation and how they responded show the true character of first responders.
“I believe that is what a true hero in the United States is made of,” Hicks said. “Those guys went in that scene not knowing if … that was going to be their last day or if they were going to take their last breath as a result of what they saw there.”
Hicks said law enforcement was there to make sure the situation was handled.
“What were those officers prepared to do? Whatever they needed to do to stop that shooting at that particular moment and that’s what this community should be proud of,” he said. “The response of law enforcement was immediate and it was overwhelming and it should send a signal that if you’re going to do something like this in our area, there’s going to be a response and law enforcement is going to take care of it.”
Hicks said participating agencies or those willing to lend a hand included Duncan Police, Duncan Fire, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, District 6 Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorneys Office.
“I can’t say enough about what they’ve done as a result of all of this as those calls came in,” Hicks said of Duncan Police before extending thanks to other agencies. “We got phone calls from all over the state, all over the nation expressing sorrow and asking what we need and it meant a lot to all of us.”
Extending thanks was for more than just law enforcement and first responders, Hicks said.
“I specifically also want to thank the community for the text messages, the phone calls, the emails and the support that they’ve shown of my office as well as all these law enforcement officers,” Hicks said. “It means a lot to all of us to hear them and to know that our community has reached out to us and has said that ‘we’re praying for you and we’re there with you and we support you.’ Thank you for all that you do it means a lot to everyone here.”
Hicks said situations like this weigh on many people.
“These situations are extremely difficult, they’re difficult on and for everybody involved, from the Duncan Police Department and the detectives and the first responders to the task force investigators and everybody else, for the attorneys that are going to eventually deal with this as well,” he said. “It is tough on everybody when these things happen and we hate that this has happened. We regret that this has happened in our community once again but we’re here and we will stand up. This is our community and we will become stronger as a result of all this.”
City Manager Kim Meek echoed Hicks’ sentiments and extended gratitude for the “heroic response” from police. She also thanked the other agencies for their immediate response and a local church which allowed community members to gather there Monday evening.
“I’d like to thank Pastor Pain of the First Baptist Church for opening his church last night for a community prayer service,” Meek said. “He gave us the chance to come together as a community and to leave our evening with renewed hope for today.”
Meek only had one request of the community.
“In the wake of this tragedy, we are left with devastated families and heartbroken friends, and in this tight knit community that we are, you don’t have to look far to find somebody thats been impacted by this tragedy,” Meek said. “So as we move forward, I just ask when faced with the choice today, I ask you to choose to be kind.”