Two Officers Shot, Shooter Killed In Choctaw County

Thursday, April 23rd 2015, 12:52 pm
By: News On 6

Two law enforcement officers were shot, a third wounded by shrapnel and the shooter killed Thursday morning outside a home on the Choctaw-McCurtain County line.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says the Choctaw County Sheriff's Office was called to the town of Rufe at about 5:30 a.m. on a report that a man was shooting at neighbors.

A tactical team including several sheriff's deputies and Hugo police officers responded to the 180 block of North 4430 Road. Several OSBI agents in the area assisted the officers, according to a news release from the OSBI.

A Sheriff's deputy and Hugo police officer Lt. Steve Babcock were wounded while serving a warrant near the unincorporated community of Rufe on Highway 3, reports KXII, the CBS affiliate in Sherman, Texas.

Choctaw County Sheriff Terry Park says as the officers approached the home, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle began firing at the officers from inside his home.

That man, identified as Joseph Potts, 51, wounded the two men. The OSBI says after shooting the officers, Potts set his home on fire, walked outside and tried to grab an officer's arm.

Potts was then shot and killed by at least one officer, according to the release.

Sheriff Park says Lt. Babcock was hit nine times and is in critical condition. Another officer was hit in the leg and a third by shrapnel.

We're told the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training recently donated a bulletproof vest to one of the officers.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the shooting. They will deliver a report of the officer-involved fatality shooting to the district attorney when their investigation is complete.