A Tahlequah man was shot and killed by law enforcement after an hour-long standoff on Wednesday evening.
Officers said Eddie Maxwell had already shot his wife when they arrived, and then pointed his gun at officers and himself.
Police were called to an apartment in the 600 block of Pamela Street just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6. A woman said her sister, 40-year-old Rachel Maxwell, had just been shot in the head by her estranged husband, Eddie Ray Maxwell Sr.
The sister ran from the apartment and wasn't sure where Maxwell was when she called 911, according to TPD. Police said when they got to the apartment, Maxwell was in the living room with a revolver in his hand.
Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said he personally tried to talk Maxwell down, but when he was getting nowhere, he called for assistance from the Cherokee Nation Marshals.
When they arrived, the chief said they ultimately had no choice but to shoot the man.
It’s the type of event neighbors said they aren’t used to experiencing at the typically quiet apartment complex.
“My body just froze,” Shakira Chavez said. “I was scared.”
Chief King said the first gunshot was fired by Maxwell, who shot his estranged wife Rachel in the head at close range. King said a long and heated argument between the couple led to Rachel’s murder.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t be a fly on the wall to know what was going on yesterday during the day,” he said. “Too many times, the police are called after we passed the point of no return.”
King said Maxwell was still armed with the handgun when he and his officers arrived.
“It was an eerie feeling inside the apartment,” King recalled. “And we’re pleading with him, trying every angle we could to get him to put the gun down. He just wasn’t having it.”
When nothing worked, King called in the Cherokee Nation Marshals for help.
“He said it multiple times, that he wasn’t going back, that he wasn’t coming out, that we were going to have to carry him out,” King said.
King said he believes Maxwell was referencing going back to prison, since he has prior convictions. The Department of Corrections website shows Maxwell was just released from prison at the end of last month.
After the Marshals took over, King said one marshal fired multiple shots, hitting Maxwell and killing him. King said Maxwell had a gun, and the marshal had no choice but to shoot.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s tragic,” he said. “But it’s something that was necessary.”
“Probably the greatest factor last night in that decision was the fact that Mr. Maxwell was preventing us from being able to give aid to his victim, and his wife,” Maxwell continued.
Unfortunately, by the time officers got to Rachel, King said she was already dead.
King said he’s putting together body camera footage and evidence from the incident, which the OSBI is now investigating.