Woman Involved In Standoff At Tulsa Air National Guard Base

Monday, July 18th 2016, 12:57 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A woman diving a pickup truck was involved in a two-hour standoff with Tulsa Police at the entrance gate to the Tulsa Air National Guard Base Monday.

According to a news release from the Oklahoma National Guard, around 11:00 a.m., an woman in a truck approached the front gate of the Tulsa Air National Guard Base and told employees she had an explosive device.

Security said they contacted TPD for assistance.

Video from Osage SkyNews 6 HD showed a dark green, four-door, four-wheel drive Chevrolet pickup truck on the driveway to the 138th Fighter Wing. A witness told News On 6 the woman had been driving the truck in a circle waving what appeared to be a white flag or cloth out the window.

Police got the woman to step out of the truck and took her into custody at about 1:30 p.m. Moments later a German Shepherd dog could be seen in the truck, and it eventually jumped out the passenger side window, though its leash was still secured inside the truck. Police said family members of the women took custody of the dog.

Police then began to check the truck - first with a robot, which was able to open the doors and pull items out. Then, they finished searching by hand and determined there was nothing threatening.

The woman was identified as 29-year-old Heather Thomas. Police said she was taken into custody and transported for a mental health evaluation.

Ashley said she refused to get out of the truck because she told officers if she put the truck into park it would explode.

Thomas was to appear in court Tuesday on an August 2015 domestic abuse case. Reports say she hit, slapped a child.

8/8/2015 Related Story: Woman Arrested After Rogers County Standoff

During the standoff, more than 350 personnel were ordered to shelter in place.

"Our security forces and personnel train for events like today and they responded to the situation perfectly, said Colonel Tray Siegfried.

Siegfried was on the base at the time of the incident and said, "We understand the dangerous complexities in which we operate, but we are completely committed to ensuring the safety of our military members and our civilian employees at all times."

Tulsa Police blocked off the driveway at 46th Street North and shut down eastbound 46th Street North, then shut down westbound 46th Street North about 30 minutes later.

At one point we saw the truck backing up toward the line of police cars at the end of the driveway. The truck stopped, revealing both rear tires were flat. Police confirmed they flattened the tires.

A few minutes later police left their vehicles and moved to the median of 46th Street North, leaving their squad cars where the driveway meets the street. 

Police had their weapons aimed at the truck and were using ballistic shields for protection. At one point a member of the 138th Fighter Wing security force armed with a rifle approached the truck, getting to within about 15 feet, before slowly backing away and returning to the security checkpoint at the end of the driveway.

Siegfried said, “We are extremely grateful to the brave men and women of the Tulsa Police Department and the other agencies that responded to the scene and resolved this situation peacefully and without incident. It could have been much worse.”

Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also have representatives at the scene.