Oklahoma Chase Suspect Opens Fire at Trooper After Traffic Stop

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
October 4, 2018US News
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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released footage of a shootout between a pursuit suspect and a trooper in Woodward, Oklahoma.

The incident took place at around 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 26 as Trooper Austin Ellis tried to pull over a driver. The driver failed to stop, and he pursued him until he stopped in a parking lot at a hotel, according to KTUL.

The footage was released on Oct. 3.

In the video, the trooper orders the driver to get out of the car, but the driver doesn’t comply. Eventually, he pulls out a gun and opens fire on the trooper.

Ellis was shot in the chest during the exchange, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest, according to News9.

Ellis, wounded by the gunshot, then chased the suspect to a nearby property and both set out on foot, according to the KTUL report.

Eventually, Arturo DeJesus Ramirez Jr. was taken into police custody.

Officials said that both men were taken to a nearby hospital.

“A perimeter was established with cooperation from local law enforcement. And a suspect was apprehended by the Oklahoma Highway patrol,” Col. Mike Harrell, with the highway patrol, said to News9.

Ellis sustained a fractured rib and a damaged artery injury. Ramirez was struck in the hand.

“The bullet actually did not penetrate the body, but there was enough force inside the vest compartment that it caused that fractured rib,” Harrell said of the trooper’s injury. Ellis is currently on injured leave.

“I tell everybody almost every day, these guys are my heroes. They face an unknown danger every time they step outside that car,” Harrell said.

Ramirez faces a number of charges, including shooting with intent to kill.

Footage shows shootout between deputy and suspect
Oklahoma Highway Patrol video footage shows a shootout during a traffic stop, on Aug. 26, 2018. (Oklahoma Highway Patrol)

Traffic Stops Are Dangerous for Police

In recent weeks, there have been several dramatic instances of police getting involved in shootouts or getting into dangerous situations with suspects during traffic stops.

The Los Angeles Police Department in September released video footage of a female officer getting shot at point-blank range in North Hills. “You don’t have anything on you, right?” the officer asked the man. Without warning, the man then exits the vehicle and opens fire, striking her.

On Sept. 18, a sheriff’s office in Colorado posted footage of a man rolling out of a stopped vehicle, pointing a gun at officers. “As he continued to advance out of the vehicle deputies shot Askins multiple times, fatally wounding him,” the office said.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (pdf) said traffic stops are notoriously dangerous for police officers in the United States. The leading causes for officers being shot and killed in 2017 occurred when they were responding to domestic incidents and while conducting traffic stops, the group’s annual report states.

And, according to the most recent figures published by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A greater percentage of male drivers (12 percent) than female drivers (8 percent) were stopped by police during 2011.” It adds: “In 2011, about 3 percent of traffic stops led to a search of the driver, the vehicle, or both. Police were more likely to search male drivers (4 percent) than female drivers (2 percent).”

From The Epoch Times

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