07/27/2009

Okla. deputies fatally shot while serving warrant

Associated Press

SEMINOLE, Okla. — A man opened fire on two sheriff's deputies trying to serve a domestic abuse warrant Sunday in Oklahoma, killing both officers and wounding a woman who was passing by, state investigators said.

Ezekial Holbert, 26 was being held on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of the two Seminole County deputies, said State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown.

One of the deputies died at the scene Sunday and the other died at a hospital in Oklahoma City. Their names haven't been released.

Brown said a bystander was hit in the arm by a stray bullet as she walked down the street. Her name and condition also haven't been released.

"As far as I know, she was totally unrelated to the case," Brown said.

The sheriff's office declined comment late Sunday, referring questions to the SBI. Brown said it wasn't clear whether Holbert had an attorney or when he would appear in court.

Holbert's mother called the sheriff's office around 3 p.m. after finding her son in her house in Seminole. She said he wasn't welcome.

When deputies knocked on the door, Holbert started shooting, Brown said. The deputies were trying to serve an arrest warrant issued earlier this year for domestic assault and battery by strangulation, though it wasn't immediately clear Sunday who Holbert was accused of assaulting.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the shootings, evacuated the area and asked local businesses to shut down as they searched for the shooting suspect.

By about 7 p.m., the Oklahoma Highway Patrol used a robot with an audio speaker to approach the house.

"Through a PA system on that robot, tactical units announced their presence and required the suspect to come out and surrender," patrol Lt. George Brown told The Oklahoman newspaper. "The suspect did come out of the front of the residence and did surrender without further incident."

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