Suspect Dead, Troopers Injured In Talihina Warrant Service
TALIHINA, Oklahoma - A suspect is dead and four troopers were injured Friday morning after a "high risk" warrant service in Talihina. None of the trooper injuries are considered life threatening, OHP said.
Law enforcement said they were serving a search warrant in a drug investigation early Friday on a man when fire broke out in downtown Talihina. Heavy fire could be seen roaring from more than one building.
Authorities believe the building may have been booby trapped with some kind of explosive device.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Talihina Police, LeFlore County Sheriff's Office and District Task Force 16 served the search warrant at a downtown building. Captain Paul Timmons, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said law enforcement had reason to believe the suspect had narcotics and other drugs in the building.
In a news conference late Friday morning, Captain Timmons said they assisted with executing the warrant at 6:05 a.m. They were asked to provide support because the suspect, whose name has not been released, had threatened law enforcement in the past and made statements that he would not be taken back to prison, he said.
"Troopers were met with immediate gunfire," Timmons said. "We had troopers return fire."
Timmons said the suspect was shot in the exchange and died. The four injured troopers had minor injuries from shrapnel or gunfire, according to OHP. A fifth trooper was hit by a bullet, but his ballistic vest saved him, Timmons said.
According to Troopers, at one point explosions were heard inside the building. Troopers believe the suspect may have set a trap.
"Our tactical team didn't do anything that would have caused a fire to start so we feel like the suspect may have had the structure booby-trapped," said Timmons.
Timmons said they were appreciative of the support they've had from the community during the incident and grateful that none of the officers were seriously injured.
A witness reported seeing a medical helicopter land and take off, but OHP said they could not confirm that.
Multiple fire departments were called to battle the fires. Several streets, including the main street in town, Dallas Street have been closed because of the fires.
Talihina Chief of Police Rodney Faulkenberry said firefighters told him the fires should be out, except for hot spots by mid-afternoon. Faulkenberry said two historic buildings are gone. One resident said this event does not represent this town.
"It doesn't represent Talihina. Talihina is a lovely town with lovely people. You know, it's just bad luck."
Talihina is located in LeFlore County.