Durant officer fired after shooting at fleeing traffic violator
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — A veteran Durant police officer has been terminated for firing warning shots while trying to catch a fleeing traffic violator.
Police said Lt. Brandon Laxton attempted to pull over a gray pickup truck on July 21 after its driver made an illegal U-turn near the intersection of South 9th Avenue near the U.S. 70 West bypass.
The suspect drove through a pasture, then exited the vehicle and fled into the woods.
"The officer began to chase the suspect and fired two shots in an attempt to get the driver to stop. Warning shots are not allowed by policy," Durant police said in a written statement.
Lt. Laxton was placed on administrative leave during the investigation of his actions. The report determined that the shots were unnecessary.
The suspect got away.
The police department's Facebook page said Laxton was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in January 2021. According to an online profile, Laxton started his career with the Durant Police Department in 2007. He previously had worked for three years on the security team at Choctaw Casinos.