Liberty shooting recorded on body cam

It was unknown as of press time if charges or what charges would be filed against a 25-year-old Muldrow man who was shot four times by Sequoyah County deputies Tuesday for waving a knife and pointing a gun at passersby then threatening to shoot a couple of Sequoyah County deputies responding to a series of 911 calls.

Matthew Swain, reported to be in stable condition, was shot in the neck, upper arm, shoulder and near the ear, and was lifeflighted to a hospital in Fayetteville, Ark., after Sequoyah County Deputies Thomas Stafford and Robert Johnson located Swain on 1050 Road about a mile and a half north of Liberty School with a gun in his hand, Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane said.

During a news conference Wednesday, Lane shared footage from a body cam video worn by one of the deputies and responded to questions asked by various news reporters.

Lane said Swain was charged for assault and battery on a police officer in 2016. He also said any charges to be filed against Swain regarding Tuesday’s incident will be up to the Sequoyah County District Attorney Jack Thorp. Thorp was unavailable for comment Thursday. The case is currently under review by the OSBI.

Lane said he was proud of the two deputies involved. He also said both deputies were home with their families until their meeting with the OSBI.

Lane said 911calls, which began at 1:03 p.m. on the day of the shooting included a female reporting a man with a handgun and knife was walking down the road near Liberty School.

“At 1:25 p.m. a female called 911 to report a man with a handgun with a silencer was on 1050 road. She later said the man pointed the gun at her. At 2:10 a man reported to 911 the man with a gun drawn was walking down the middle of the road,” Lane reported in a (video time-line) fact sheet.

“Deputies Johnson and Stafford located the suspect at 1:52 p.m. according to the video and saw the gun in his right hand. Swain raised his gun and pointed at the deputies. At 2 p.m. shots were fired and Swain continued to advance towards the deputies with his gun raised, Lane reported.

The body cam video showed the deputies taking cover at the rear of the patrol car and Swain being ordered to put down his gun several times.

At 2:34 p.m. the suspect continued to advance towards the deputies “maneuvering” for a clear shot when multiple shots were fired and Swain surrendered.

Lane said the gun taken from Swain was a metal pellet gun which resembled a “real” gun.

During the time the incident was reported, Liberty School was on temporary lockdown.

Lane said when the school’s resource officer had received word of the man walking on the road in the direction of the school, school officials were advised to be on lockdown. School officials later said the children were never in any danger during the time of the shooting and apprehension of Swain but precautions were taken to provide security students and staff.

“I’m really proud of the guys and how they handled the situation,” Lane said.

“Deputy Stafford is a six-year veteran of the sheriff ’s office and a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan. Deputy Johnson has served as deputy for two years and was recently named our Reserve Deputy of the Year. They’re both great officers and I couldn’t be more proud of them and the way they handled the whole thing.”

Sequoyah County Times

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