Oklahoma County sheriff's deputies Robert Swartz and Mark Johns were handling an eviction in Oklahoma City, when they knocked on the front door and got no response. So Deputy Swartz went around to the back. That's where Benjamin Plank, 35, opened fire and hit Swartz.
In a moment, Deputy Johns entered the lane of fire to pull his partner out and was hit and seriously wounded, too. Swartz was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Johns is recovering.
Randy Sutton of The Wounded Blue says it is true cops are trained to react to the sudden sound of a gun but the impulse to put your life on the line, he says, comes from that person’s character, too.
“You have seconds, milliseconds, to make that decision,” he tells AFN. “And it's just basically I'm going to go in and do what I need to do to try and save my partner.”
Another lesson from the fatal confrontation, Sutton says, is there is nothing “routine” in law enforcement, even serving papers for an eviction.
The funeral service for Deputy Swartz is set for Friday at Crossings Community Church, located in Oklahoma City.