Two individuals accused of leading lawmen on a multi-county chase that resulted in the suspects sustaining gunshot wounds will now face charges in Stephens County.
The driver, Ila Combs, faces charges of endangering others while eluding, unauthorized use of a vehicle and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said as of Thursday, Combs remained in the hospital.
Ronald J Coleman II, of Lawton, is charged in Stephens County with possession of stolen property after two or more felony convictions. He now resides in the Stephens County jail after an initial appearance before a magistrate that was terminated for an attorney.
The incident happened last Monday night, according to reports. The vehicle pursuit began in Cotton County and ended inside city limits of Comanche in Stephens County.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) now heads the investigation in the officer-involved shooting.
Reports show the pursuit began because a Cotton County deputy spotted the car without a license plate traveling at a high rate of speed. Cotton County deputies pursued the vehicle, which, at one point, “appeared to pull over, but then returned to Highway 53 heading east,” according to OSBI.
OSBI states officers from Walters Police Department attempted to assist the Cotton County deputy with the traffic stop, but the driver headed east into Stephens County, still speeding.
McKinney’s department was notified and deputies from Stephens County joined the pursuit, which stretched about 20 miles long at speeds over 100 miles per hour.
The vehicle, according to McKinney, turned out to be stolen out of New Mexico.
Comanche Police Department set up on Highway 53 just west of Comanche with spike strips or stop sticks in an attempt to halt the vehicle. When the pursuit reached this area, the stop sticks were deployed and the driver swerved to miss them.
“(The driver) went off in the ditch, rammed a couple of patrol cars and reversed the vehicle at a high rate of speed and almost ran over three of our deputies,” McKinney said.
OSBI reports show when the vehicle hit the ditch, the driver spun out and deputies from Cotton County tried to “box the vehicle in to keep the driver from returning to the road.” Reports show the driver “put the car in reverse to avoid deputies and that’s when shots were fired.”
According to OSBI, deputies from Cotton and Stephens counties as well as an officer from Walters PD were involved in the shooting.
McKinney confirmed his deputy who fired shots was placed on paid administrative leave pending the review of OSBI. The review will determine if the shooting was justified, McKinney said.