Police Fatally Shoot Hostage Taker At Braums

Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 6:58 am
By: News On 6

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - Police have released the name of a man who was shot and killed by an officer after taking a worker hostage at knifepoint at a Braum's store. Deral Ritter, 55, was killed inside the store about 11 p.m. Sunday, Sergeant Patrick Norton said.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the shooting happened after Ritter allegedly stole a car in Lawton and crashed it in front of the Braum's store in Duncan while being chased by police. He ran inside, stole a knife from behind the store counter and took a male employee hostage.

Brown said the suspect took the employee at knifepoint to the back of the store. The employee was able to escape and Ritter was shot and killed by a Duncan officer.

The hostage suffered minor neck wounds.

Detective John Byers of the Duncan Police Department said attempts to negotiate with the suspect were unsuccessful and shots were fired to end “a life-threatening situation."

Terry Holden, a Braum's representative, said the hostage was 18 years old. His name was not immediately released.

"He cooperated with the man, did everything that should be done from an employee's standpoint," Holden said.

The police officer involved in the shooting was given leave as the case was being investigated.

"We regret that the man died, but we're glad that no other fatalities resulted from the affair," Holden said.