He Was Suspected of Robbing a Pizza Hut. Now, 3 Kids Shot

Children injured during shootout with robbery suspect in Oklahoma
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2019 5:30 AM CDT
Caught in a Shootout With Robbery Suspect: 3 Kids
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/carlballou)

Three children were wounded in a police shooting Friday in Oklahoma when an officer fired, per state investigators. Brook Arbeitman, a rep for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said gunfire broke out when detectives with the Hugo Police Department in southeastern Oklahoma were trying to approach the suspect, 21-year-old William Devaughn Smith. Arbeitman said Smith is suspected in an April 11 armed robbery at a Pizza Hut in Hugo, which is near the Texas state line, per the AP. It was not immediately clear why the children were at the scene. Officials didn't immediately release the names, ages, or conditions of the children. The Bureau of Investigation initially said two children were shot but later learned a third child was shot. Smith was treated and released at a hospital in Paris, Texas, about 30 miles south of Hugo.

Paris Police Chief Bob Hundle said he didn't know the details of what happened in Hugo, but that his officers took Smith into custody so that he could be booked at the Lamar County, Texas, jail on a warrant for aggravated robbery. What prompted the shooting is unclear, Arbeitman said. She added that investigators weren't sure if Smith fired at police; it wasn't immediately clear if he was armed. A post on the Hugo Police Facebook page says that on the day of the Pizza Hut robbery, a man entered the back entrance of the restaurant, pressed an object to the back of an employee, and demanded money. Police said the worker handed over money and that the robber then left. Calls to Hugo Police weren't answered Friday evening. An employee at the city's dispatch center, who declined to give her name, said all questions should be directed to state investigators. (More Oklahoma stories.)

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