12/26/2003

Okla. Highway Patrol Trooper Shot, Killed; Search on For Suspect

Officer Down: Nikky Green - [Cotton County, Oklahoma]

The Associated Press

WALTERS, Okla. (AP) -- An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was shot and killed Friday morning after pulling over a car in Cotton County just north of the Texas border and authorities were searching for a suspect, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

The trooper had informed his dispatcher about 7 a.m. that he was pulling over a suspicious vehicle on the north side of Devol, about then lost radio contact with the trooper. A Cotton County sheriff's deputy and another trooper went to investigate and found the body alongside a rural county road about a mile from U.S. 70.

Highway Patrol spokesman Chris West identified the slain trooper as Nikky Green, 35. five miles north of the Texas state line, OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.

The Highway Patrol Green graduated from the OHP academy six years ago. He was on patrol without a partner, as is typical.

Gov. Brad Henry ordered that state flags be flown at half staff.

"Trooper Green was a hero, not simply because he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his fellow Oklahomans, but because he was a consummate law enforcement professional and public servant who dedicated his life to helping others," Henry said. "I can assure you that the person responsible for Trooper Green's death will feel the full weight of the law."

West described the suspect in the shooting as being in his mid-20s to early-30s, 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-3, 210 pounds to 230 pounds, short dark hair and wearing glasses, a black leather, waist-length jacket and camouflage pants.

He was believed to be driving a small, white four-door car, similar to a Nissan or a Toyota. The license plate of the car was apparently obscured.

A major search was under way.

"We've got increased law enforcement presence here," West said. "We've got deputies from other counties and troopers here from Texas. We're definitely looking for this vehicle."

The Texas Department of Public Safety was monitoring traffic on the Red River bridges on Interstate 44 and U.S. 70.

"They're checking folks out and seeing if there's somebody who may know something," said Texas DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange.

Brown said at least some of the suspect and vehicle information is believed to have come from Green's in-car camera.

"We consider the suspect armed and very dangerous," Brown said. "He has no qualms about shooting anyone else. He's got to know law enforcement is after him at this point."

At least 30 other Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers have died in the line of duty since 1941.

The last trooper to die in the line of duty was Chris Van Krevelen who was killed on Thanksgiving Day 2002 in an automobile accident while responding to a report of a train-car accident in Enid.

Trooper David W. "Rocky" Eales was the last trooper to be shot and killed. Eales was shot during a drug raid on Sept. 24, 1999, in Sequoyah County. Kenneth Eugene Barrett is charged with first-degree murder in that killing.

The governor said Green's death was especially tragic given the time of year.

"It's a terrible tragedy whenever a trooper gives his life in the line of duty, but it is especially painful when such a senseless act occurs this close to Christmas," he said.

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