LIBERTY, Kan. » Two people are in custody and a manhunt is underway in southeastern Kansas for a third suspect after an Oklahoma police officer was shot in the head during a traffic pursuit, police said.
South Coffeyville Police Chief Wade Lamb told the Tulsa World that the incident began when an officer tried to pull over an SUV Thursday evening in Rogers County, Oklahoma, but the vehicle took off. The SUV occupied by three people headed north, Lamb said.
As the three drove toward the Kansas border, someone fired shots from the SUV at an Oologah police cruiser that was assisting in the chase, striking an officer in the head, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Dwight Durant said.
The cruiser crashed in a ditch, Durant said. The officer was airlifted to a Tulsa hospital. His condition wasn’t released, though Durant told the newspaper the officer was awake when he was put into the medical helicopter.
Authorities say two of the vehicle’s occupants were eventually taken into custody in South Coffeyville, just south of the Kansas border, after police used stop sticks. They were not immediately identified.
The third person escaped, carjacked another car and shot the driver before pulling away, Lamb said. That victim’s condition wasn’t immediately clear.
The suspect made it to Liberty, Kansas, before crashing and fleeing on foot, Lamb said.
A search was underway late Thursday.