Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King has confirmed that two people are dead after a shooting Wednesday night, and the man involved in the domestic dispute was killed by Cherokee Nation marshals.
King said officers responded to a domestic incident at 611 Pamela St. around 8 p.m. after multiple calls to 911 were made regarding shots being fired.
“The last of [the calls was] from a woman who indicated that her sister, Rachel Maxwell, had been shot in the head by her estranged husband, Eddie Ray Maxwell,” said King. “Mr. Maxwell shot at [the sister] as she was fleeing the apartment.”
The caller told 911 dispatchers she didn’t know where Maxwell was when she was on the phone.
Officers arrived within three minutes of the call, and a short time later, they radioed that they were in a standoff with Maxwell.
“We called for the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service SWAT team, and when I got there, we made entry into the apartment,” said King. “I could see Mr. Maxwell in the living room with a gun in his hand and could see Mrs. Maxwell in the floor, appearing to be unresponsive.”
Officers tried to get the man to drop the revolver, he refused, and indicated that he wasn’t "going back."
“He said he couldn’t drop the gun and that he wasn’t going back, and I can only assume he meant he wasn’t going back to prison,” said King. “He said multiple times that [Rachel] was still alive.”
King said officers told Maxwell to drop the gun so they could attend to the victim, and then the SWAT team arrived and took over the standoff.
“[Tahlequah officers] backed out and they took that tactical position, and after a few minutes, one of the marshals fired multiple times and subsequently Mr. Maxwell died,” said King.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the suspect was taken to Northeastern Health System by EMS, where he was also pronounced dead.
King said the couple have children, but none of them were in the apartment at the time of the shooting.
He said Maxwell didn’t shoot at the SWAT team during the standoff. However, he was refusing to allow officers to provide aid to the victim.
“An armed subject, who had already admittedly by his own words he had committed a homicide, was preventing us from giving aid to that victim, and the decision was made to eliminate that threat,” said King.
According to online court reports, Maxwell was charged with manslaughter in 2002, as well as assault and battery with a weapon in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
King said the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.