Oklahoma Police Department Fires Cop Shot Multiple Times In Line Of Duty

Holly Matkin

Chickasha Police Sergeant Matthew Schoolfield nearly lost his arm when he was shot in the line of duty.

Chickasha, OK – A Chickasha police sergeant who suffered debilitating injuries after he was shot multiple times in the line of duty has been terminated by his department.

Chickasha Police Sergeant Matthew Schoolfield was one of seven Chickasha police officers who were injured during the Sept. 17, 2017 gun battle with 61-year-old attempted kidnapping suspect Alex Warren Klingler, KOKH reported.

The officers had converged on a residence where Klingler was staying in order to serve a search warrant, but came under fire as they approached the home, KFOR reported.

“Subject’s moving through the building. Randomly firing through the walls. East side, west side, rounds coming out,” an officer said in a 911 call. “Shots fired! Large amount. Subject barricaded. We have one of our officers shot.”

Investigators later determined that Klinger was using a .308 rifle, KWTV reported.

At least five bullets hit Sgt. Schoolfield, including two that were stopped by his ballistic vest, KFOR reported.

"One round went through my helmet down the right side of my face through my ear," he told the news outlet. "The one that went in my forearm that actually severed my arm other than a few tendons and some skin tissue."

Despite the severity of his wounds, Sgt. Schoolfield managed to make his way over to an officer at the perimeter of the scene before he collapsed.

His fellow officer dragged him to safety and a tourniquet was applied to his upper right arm.

Six other officers were injured during the shootout with Klingler, including Officer Daniel Ramirez, who was hit by shrapnel, KFOR reported at the time.

“Klingler intended to kill every officer that was out there,” District Attorney Jason Hicks said.

The gunman ultimately surrendered, and was later convicted of maiming, six counts of shooting with intent to kill, and three counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

He was sentenced to 10 life terms, each of which was ordered to be served consecutively, KWTV reported.

All seven officers survived the attack, but Sgt. Schoolfield’s injuries prevented him from returning to full duty.

"They had to reconstruct my arm, try to connect everything the best they could. I’ve had nine procedures now, possibly a tenth coming," he told KFOR. "I try not to hold a grudge, just live my life and don't let what's happened to me consume me.”

Sgt. Schoolfield returned to the force on light-duty for nearly one year, but the department removed him from that position in 2019.

He said he was blindsided by the change.

"It kind of seemed like everybody was gonna take care of me and not to worry about things, and then a contract comes up," he told KFOR at the time. "Right now, it's doubtful that I'll be able to be a police officer again because of the loss of function in my hand. I'm not gonna be selfish enough to put myself above those that I would be working alongside of or even the citizens I'm supposed to protect.”

“Sometimes, I feel like a burden to my family,” Sgt. Schoolfield told KOTV. “I never really gave up on the dream to be a police officer, but two years and you start realizing I have a lot of limitations still.”

In late February, he was terminated from the Chickasha Police Department altogether, The Express-Star reported.

The circumstances of his firing are unclear, and the city refused to comment on the situation, calling it a personnel issue.

Former CPD Sergeant Shayne Melton, who now works in a different law enforcement position, said that he worked alongside former Sgt. Schoolfield for years.

“I got to watch Matthew be the epitome of a leader, not just for the department but for this community. I also watched him take things personal when citizens were victimized,” said former Sgt. Melton, as he protested his friend’s termination outside city hall on Feb. 28.

“He became more than just a coworker,” he explained. “He became a brother, he became family, and I would expect anybody to do this for a family member.”

Former Sgt. Melton, an 18-year law enforcement veteran, said that the department should have done more to keep Sgt. Schoolfield on the force, The Express-Star reported.

“I know that there’s different avenues, there’s different positions, different roles that a person can play in a law enforcement community and I think that those options should be explored,” he said. “We, as a community, owe him more than what he received this week…I just want Matthew to know that we as a community love him.”

Now-former Sgt. Schoolfield and his wife, Johnna, are pushing for a new state law aimed at helping law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty, KOTV reported.

HB 3330, sponsored by Representative David Perryman, would ensure that officers disabled in the line of duty by a violent act would receive 100 percent disability.

If passed, the couple said they hoped the law will be put into immediate effect and applied retroactively.

“You're just tired of seeing him hurt. You're tired of seeing him go through all the pain,” Johnna told KOTV. “I vow that nobody, no other person will have to go through this, if this passes. No other person will have to be put on the back burner like we were.”

Comments (40)
flybynight
flybynight

This is a perfect setup for the anti cop trolls. Wonder where they are? I mean it's perfect low hanging fruit.

No. 1-13
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

More in replies...

JBoH
JBoH

This sounds like a guy who never quits and that's one reason he's alive today. His department/city sounds like they just use employees until they have nothing left and then just cast them aside.

I don't see why they can't find a job change that works for him...like crime scene investigation or community outreach. Seems like there should be a place for an officer who has given so much and received so little in return.

RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

I think There’s something we’re not being told, I don’t think they could just terminate without cause, there would have to be disability. They don’t mention that or why he was terminated. I am not in anyway disparaging this mans service or sacrifice. Respect him for his sacrifice and his ability to keep fighting after the shit hit the fan .

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Police officers should get the same disability any other type of worker gets. No more, no less. Police officers are every bit as good as regular citizens!

Hwk36908
Hwk36908

Sounds like you have some transplanted pussy whipped CA politicians running the show. Get them voted out. What a disgrace.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Bleeding heart, police hating, liberal politicians are definitely behind this.

magnumforc
magnumforc

IF there is disability I suppose one has to be discharged to qualify for it. Not fired, discharged on disability. I was terminated as a result of disability and honestly was pissed off for about 3 years after. But I later realized the choice was disability or nothing . I feel for anyone who has a disability and is treated like crap like this officer.

Justiceforallalways
Justiceforallalways

Every LEO in the state of Oklahoma should quit or call in sick until the law passes, is signed by the Governor and goes into effect. DO they not have workers compensation insurance and disability retirements? While there is a lot of abuse of the system, in California, this is the systems problem. It should be universal across the US.

Sgt167
Sgt167

Where the hell is the disability pension and insurance coverage that we get in Illinois for duty related injuries? There are a lot of states apparently that screw first responders. At least Illinois does something right. Sgt Schoolfield deserves nothing less than receiving benefits he earned and paid the price for. Disgusting how he’s being treated.

248
248

This officer certainly deserves more than Well Wishes. Go gettem Sgt. !

Mom2Boys
Mom2Boys

What the hell!?! He still has his years of experience, his other arm and hand, his voice, his ears, his legs, his mental faculties, his heart and soul for service...of course he can still work on the police force! He should be reinstated immediately with backpay and benefits. This is a travesty.

Disabledltdetective
Disabledltdetective

The Oklahoma Police Pension rates your disability on a percentage of the whole person, not the amount of disability. I was disabled in the line of duty fighting a suspect on meth. I ruptured a disc in c 3-4. The surgery failed and multiple disc ruptured after this. I was totally disabled and in a wheelchair and qualified for total social security disability. The workman's comp court rated only the first disc at 27% of the whole body and therefore I only get 1/2 pension. Hopefully this bill will pass and be retroactive.


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