Optima Wildlife Management Area in Oklahoma
On April 17 an individual that was illegally camping in the Optima Wildlife Management Area in the Oklahoma panhandle and was asked to leave by an Oklahoma Game Warden. As the suspect was departing several fires were started by tracer rounds fired from the suspect’s semiautomatic rifle. As firefighters attempted to extinguish the fires they were shot at multiple times by the individual. The shooter wandered off into the lakebed, setting more fires.
Approximately five hours later and after some intense moments, he was located, talked out, and taken into custody by the Texas County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
On April 18 Game Warden Mike Baker returned to the scene to attempt to locate the firearm that was reportedly used by the suspect to shoot at the firefighters. The Game Warden talked to two of the firefighters involved in the incident who pointed him to an area where the suspect was last seen starting additional fires.
Game Warden Baker was able to locate tracks that he believed belonged to the suspect and followed them to a point where he located a semiautomatic rifle and two empty magazines that are believed to be the same weapon used by the suspect.
Firefighters posted video of the active scene in which you can hear shots being fired, and firefighters saying, “We’re being shot at!”. Warning, adult language was used.
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Author: Bill Gabbert
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