One Oklahoma deputy who had been on the force for 25 years was killed and another deputy was wounded in a shooting that took place on Monday afternoon as they were attempting to serve an eviction notice in southwest Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma County deputy who was shot and killed today in the line of duty is Sgt. Bobby Swartz. An unfathomable tragedy for his family and colleagues. My deepest condolences to his loved ones and the OKC community. pic.twitter.com/RfnQEab5DV
— Markie Martin (@MarkieMartin) August 22, 2022
‘It’s A Sad Day’
“It’s a sad day for the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office,” said Sheriff Tommie Johnson III, according to USA Today. “Law enforcement, it’s a tight community, and I’m so thankful they were screaming across the state for my guys.”
The fallen officer has been identified as Sgt. Bobby Swartz, who had been on the force since 1997. The wounded deputy has not been publicly named, but he’s been described as a veteran of the force for over 20 years, and he’s thankfully in “stable condition.”
Officials have said that the shooting occurred just after 1pm on Monday afternoon, when the officers involved were trying to serve an eviction notice.
“We had two deputies who were serving lockout papers, contacted the individual at the front door. They went around to the back door and that’s when the shooting began,” Johnson said. “Shot the first deputy, the second deputy tried to get that deputy out of the way of gunfire and then he was struck, as well.”
Check out a video of Swarz on the job in 2018 below.
‘This Was About As Routine As It Gets’
Aaron Brilbeck, public information officer for the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office, said serving papers of this kind is “what these guys do.”
“This was about as routine as it gets,” he said. “These deputies are very well trained; this is the thing that they do 8-10-12 hours per day, every single day.”
“Generally it’s a question of serving paperwork on a door, coming back a few days later, and nine times out of 10 the person has already vacated the premises,” he added. “That wasn’t the case this time around.”
The suspect fled the scene in a truck towing a boat, and he led police on a chase that went all over Oklahoma City on several highways, including Interstate 240, I-35 and I-40.
“During that pursuit, the suspect was firing rounds at officers, and we had officers, as well, returning fire at the suspect,” said Capt. Valerie Littlejohn, public information officer for the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The suspect was finally taken into custody with the assistance of “multiple agencies,” police said. The suspect has since been identified as 35-year-old Benjamin Plank, who is being held without bond at the Oklahoma County Jail, according to KTUL.
This was the first line-of-duty shooting death in the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office since 1935 when the agency was still called the Oklahoma County Constable’s Office.
Find out more about this shooting in the video below.
Swartz’s Son Pays Tribute To Him
Swartz’s son Austin released the following statement to KFOR honoring his father:
“He was an amazing man, father, grandfather (my kids called him papa policeman), son, and brother. He was a 25 year veteran of the sheriffs office, and served in the US Army before that. He meant the world to myself, my kids, my wife, and our entire family.
He was always proud to serve the people in his community, and took great pride in helping others. He was an avid motorcycle rider despite being in a couple very serious accidents that almost cost him his life. He loved attending my daughters soccer games, and never missed a single one, no matter the time of day or weather. He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, etc.
Most of all, he loved his family. He was there for anyone, whenever and wherever, all you had to do was call. I’m not sure what the world will look like without him, I do know it’s just not going to be the same. We lost an amazing person.”
This serves as a reminder that police officers really do put their lives on the line for the rest of us every single day, and they deserve our respect and admiration for doing so.
Please join us in saying a prayer for Sgt. Swartz’s family and friends during this difficult time.