Police: Oklahoma shooting suspect planned to kill

OKLAHOMA CITY — The man suspected of fatally shooting an Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy and injuring another sheriff planned to kill police who arrived at the home where he lived, police said Tuesday.

“There was a lot of information (Monday) in that house, and I won’t go into much of it, but I can tell you with 100% confidence that he intended to kill every law enforcement officer who came to his house,” the police chief of Oklahoma City, Wade Gourley, said during a news conference Tuesday.

“I’d say…he planned it because of the way it happened,” said Gourley, who declined to elaborate on the active investigation into the shooting.

Benjamin Plank, 35, was arrested for first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill arrest warrants in the fatal shooting of Deputy Sheriff Bobby Swartz and wounding Deputy Mark Johns while trying to file eviction papers at the Southwestern home. Oklahoma City.

Swartz had been deputy since 1997, said Sheriff Tommie Johnson III. Johns first became deputy in 1991, retired in 2016 and was then rehired in January, according to Johnson.

The prison records do not mention a lawyer who could speak on behalf of Plank.

Gourley said numerous weapons, including a rifle, pistols and ammunition, were found in the pickup truck Plank was driving and in a boat he was towing.

The weapons were found after a vehicle chase in which Plank fired at police and officers who returned fire, ending with Plank’s arrest at an entrance to Tinker Air Force Base.

Plank surrendered but did not cooperate with the officers who then attacked and shot him with a stun gun, Gourley said.

The Monday afternoon shooting occurred nearly three and a half hours after city police received a call from a woman at the same address asking officers to evict her son for “putting up” and throwing things in the yard, Gourley said.

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Gourley said the woman reported asking for a protective warrant against Plank, but court records did not show that a warrant was active and that police are not issuing eviction notices and referring her to the sheriff’s office.

Gourley said the woman’s relationship with Plank is part of the ongoing investigation.

Johnson said the two officers went to the front door of the house, where Plank “did not cooperate,” then went to the back door where both Swartz and Johns were shot multiple times.

Swartz was hit multiple times and Johns was hit by gunfire while trying to get Swartz out of the line of fire and remained in the hospital in stable condition, Johnson said.

“He’s cheerful and in a good mood,” Johnson said.

Johnson read a letter from Swartz’s family calling him “a good man, an even better father and the world’s greatest grandfather (who) never missed a football game.”

Funeral services will be Friday, Johnson said.

Gourley said police had responded in the past year to five disturbances at the house where the officers were shot and each sent to civil court. Gourley said the only previous contact with Plank was for the illegal dumping of waste.

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