Law Enforcement & Fire
Okmulgee -- OSBI special agents are investigating an officer-Involved shooting that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Okmulgee after a driver refused to stop, which initiated a high speed chase through town. A passenger in the vehicle was shot by an Okmulgee police officer at approximately 3:15 p.m.
The series of events that led up to the pursuit was when Okmulgee County deputies were attempting an undercover buy of items from Michael David Sanchez, 31, who was selling outside a Walmart store at 1800 South Wood Drive. Before deputies could make the buy, Sanchez sped away in a Chevy Malibu sedan. Okmulgee police officers joined the pursuit which sped through residential streets at high speeds. Several officers used their patrol cars to block Sanchez' path near 4th and Taylor at the Taylor Drive Apartments.
Sanchez attempted to drive reckless around the vehicles when an officer fired his weapon, striking the passenger, Amanda Morrow in the neck. She was flown to a Tulsa hospital. Sanchez was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation. Sanchez faces many more criminal complaints.
The Okmulgee Police Department requested OSBI special agents investigate the shooting. When the case is completed, agents will present a comprehensive, written report to the district attorney. The DA will determine how they will proceed once all evidence is gathered and investigated.
Okmulgee County Emergency Management is urging everyone in the county to be aware that critical fire weather continues be a danger all across the area this weekend.
THERE IS A BURN BAN IN OKMULGEE COUNTY.
County fire crews have responded to more than a half dozen grass fires, several of which were near homes and all were man caused.
Under this burn ban in Okmulgee County it is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop, or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other materials that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire.
Any person convicted of violating this burn during a ban is subject a fine of not more than $500, to imprisonment for not more than one year imprisonment or to both fine and imprisonment.
Thank you, OKMULGEE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Mulkey has prevailed in confiscating a large amount of marijuana in a weekend traffic stop. Saturday Mulkey was making a routine traffic stop when he discovered not only illegal drugs, but two illegal citizens Armando Rios, 30, the driver of the vehicle and Maria Isabel, 21, transporting pot.
The two were traveling westbound on I-40 and to their demise after making an unsafe lane change and then following too closely behind another vehicle their vehicle was stopped. In the report Deputy Mulkey said the two acted suspicious and shortly after he discovered the huge bundles of weed.
The vehicle was seized by OCSO and the two were booked into the Okmulgee County jail on complaints of trafficking in illegal drugs.
They will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after they face their charges.
By Betty Anderson
Fire Chief Bruce Swearingen is working hard training new firefighter Tanner McEhaney who started with the Okmulgee Fire Department on November 23, 2016.
McEhaney was born and raised in Hitchita, Oklahoma and has returned to his hometown to live. After high school, he went to college and was a volunteer firefighter for Hitchita Fire Department and Okay Fire Department for three years. After college, he went in another direction and became a professional steer wrestler and traveled with the rodeo for a couple of years winning several ACRA and CWRA awards. When he came back to Hitchita, he decided he wanted to pursue firefighting as a profession.
McEhaney feels very fortunate to become an Okmulgee Firefighter and is training to take his exam. He has already completed his Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat OPS. He said he really enjoys working at the Fire Department and working with a great group of guys.
By Betty Anderson
Fire Chief Bruce Swearingen is happy to introduce Firefighter Ross Kellner to Okmulgee after a position opened up recently within his department.
ONN spoke with Kellner and learned that he decided he wanted to be a firefighter right out of high school and began his quest by being a volunteer firefighter for the Beggs Fire Department for 3 years. He then furthered his journey by beginning his firefighter training at EOC Tech Fire Academy in Choctaw. Kellner was born and raised in Morris, is married and has two daughters, ages 6 and 1 ½ years old.
“This is where I want to be, I am here to stay and am not going anywhere. This is the best place on earth. My goal is to retire from the Okmulgee Fire Department,” said Kellner.
Okmulgee Police reported today that they enlisted the assistance of the Oklahoma Lake Patrol, the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office, the Okmulgee Emergency Management Department, the Creek Nation Lighthorse Police, and the Creek Nation Emergency Management Department and conducted a search of the Okmulgee Lake for a fourth time.
They discovered that the 2013 Ford F150 that was reported missing and believed to be driven by Larry Andrews at the time of his disappearance has been recovered.
The vehicle was found submerged in the Okmulgee Lake. Chief Joe Prentice believes the reason it was not found on previous searches was due to problems with sonar equipment.
At this point and based on the evidence investigators do not believe there was any foul play related to the discovery of Mr. Andrews’ body or the vehicle.
Morris Okla. – Today around 9:12 a.m. the Okmulgee County Sheriff Office (OCSO) received a telephone call reporting the deaths of several family members. Deputies responded to a home in the 17,000 block of Highway 62 and Morris and discovered the bodies of a man, a woman and two children.
The initial investigation reveals that there appeared to have been a disturbance, which resulted in an apparent triple murder and suicide.
Names of the victims have not been released. OCS reported that the bodies would be released to the medical examiner, who will make the final determination as to the cause of deaths.
This is an active investigation of the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office and the District 25 Violent crime task force. The Sheriff’s office is not seeking any suspects.
Sheriff Eddy Rice commented on how disappointed he was to see the media once again flocking to the scene of a horrible tragedy where family and friends were gathered to console each other.
“Enough is enough, said Sheriff Rice. “this is a trend that is becoming out of hand. There is no longer any type of respect from most media outlets today, the way I knew it years ago. This has gradually grown to extremism. Today we had to remove journalist and camera crews from around the home. We had family members begging in tears for some relief from being bombarded. I was told today by news reporters that ‘it is their job to inform the public’, but I ask, how far do you need to go? Is what they are doing really worth the sacrifice in the real scheme of things? I especially ask the producers this same question. I am pretty sure the answer I will get, until it happens to their own loved ones.”
Rice said he is implementing plans to put a stop to extreme reporting in his county and hopes that other law enforcement agencies will follow.
“I mean no disrespect to the field of journalism and I have no problem in releasing the public record but I would ask the media to consider these rules with a reporters own basic questions, who – who are you damaging, what – is most important, when – is it a proper time to ask, film, photograph and record, where – can you use tact in gathering information and why – are you going to unnecessary extremes.”
Sheriff Rice said he has always had a good relationship with the media and hopes that things can be turned around and refocused in a positive manner.
"Let's not forget that this is a sad day, it's a difficult day for us at sheriff's office and the people who have been touched by this incident. Again another tragedy has struck our community. Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragedy."
The Okmulgee County Sheriff's called off the Silver Alert in search of 61-year-old Larry Andrews who was missing from the Henryetta area since January 31.
The Sheriff's Office reported they found Mr. Andrews is deceased. Approximately midday on Sunday his body was found near the spillway at the Okmulgee lake. The exact cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner and an investigation into his death is ongoing. His vehicle has not been found. Andrew had a history of mental health issues and was believed to be suffering from early stage dementia.
Deputies are seeking the public's help in locating Mr. Andrew's black 2013 Ford F-150 Extended Cab pick up with Oklahoma license plate #792-LQU and which has a broken passenger side mirror.
If you have any information about this vehicle contact the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office at 918-756-4311.
During the early morning hours of December 26, 2016, Kimberly Lyons-Anderson was shot and killed outside the American Legion Hut in Okmulgee. A party had been hosted at the hut and was breaking up with several people outside the building.
Based on evidence at the scene, police believe someone began shooting toward the building from the street, possibly from a vehicle. Witnesses told police when the shooting stopped Kimberly Lyons-Anderson was found unresponsive on the ground in front of the building. She had been shot one time in the chest. Investigators collected numerous .40 caliber shell casings from the scene. During an autopsy the medical examiner recovered a projectile from the victim’s body. An unofficial visual examination of the projectile revealed the bullet is considerably smaller than a .40 caliber which leads investigators to believe a second gun was fired during the event.
Investigators have conducted in excess of 50 interviews of people that attended the party and still have no viable suspects. Investigators have received numerous names and varying stories circulating on social media but need an eye witness to the crime. They would also like to locate the firearms used.
In response to the difficulties encountered by investigators, an application was submitted to the Oklahoma Reward System. The application was approved and the Oklahoma Reward System is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Kimberly Lyons-Anderson.
Anyone with information is asked to call Okmulgee Police at 918-756-3511.
By Betty Anderson
It was a busy year for the Okmulgee Police Department in 2016. Police Chief Joe Prentice reported that they made 11,798 calls for the year.
Prentice reported to the City Council that, “December was extraordinarily busy. We had two homicides occur within five days of each other and investigating those two incidents has occupied the biggest portion of the department’s time outside the normal calls for service. We are extremely fortunate to have the assistance of the violent crime task force. We have made an arrest for the first incident but still have no official suspect(s) for the second.”