August 16, 2022
In September of 2017, officers with the Chickasha Police Department were serving a search warrant at the home of a kidnapping and assault suspect. Unbeknownst to the officers, suspect Alex Warren Klinger waited inside armed with a semiautomatic .308 rifle, ready to kill any officer attempting to take him into custody.
As the officers approached the house, Klinger opened fire.
“Subject’s moving through the building. Randomly firing through the walls. East side, west side, rounds coming out,” an officer can be heard saying on the 911 call. “Shots fired! Large amount. Subject barricaded. We have one of our officers shot.”
Sergeant Matthew Schoolfield, a 10-year veteran of the department, was hit immediately with five .308 rounds, including one that penetrated his ballistic helmet.
Despite the severity of his wounds, Sgt. Schoolfield was able to make his way to an officer at the perimeter of the scene before he collapsed. The perimeter officer dragged him to safety where a tourniquet was applied to his upper right arm.
His injuries were horrific.
“One round went through my helmet down the right side of my face through my ear,” Schoolfield said. “The one that went in my forearm that actually severed my arm other than a few tendons and some skin tissue.”
Six other officers were injured during the shootout with Klingler. 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.
All seven officers survived the attack that day, 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,” Schoolfield said. “I try not to hold a grudge, just live my life and don’t let what’s happened to me consume me.”
Our H2K articles feature and share the stories of law enforcement officers around the country who have been shot in the line of duty and survived.