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Man Arrested in Murder of Logan County Deputy

Ryan Coventon - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The man suspected of shooting and killing a Logan County sheriff's deputy has been arrested after a manhunt spanning several hours.

Yesterday morning, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Deputy David Wade, 40, attempted to serve an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall. Instead, Nathan Aaron Leforce, 45, of Perry, shot Deputy Wade in the face and body. Leforce was not even the subject of the eviction, but was instead at the home to "help" the residents.

After shooting Wade, Leforce fled in the deputy's pickup to a convenience store in nearby Langston, where he first attempted to break into a car, and then stole another car at gunpoint. 

Wade, who was responsive after the shooting, was flown to OU Medical Center, where he went into cardiac arrest. Doctors stabilized the deputy enough to get him into surgery, but he died on the operating table shortly before noon.

Law enforcement agencies including the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the OSBI joined the hunt looking for Leforce. Tracking a cell phone, they discovered Leforce hiding in an outbuilding about 7 miles from Langston. Officers say the suspect surrendered "without incident," but they deployed four gas grenades before they stormed the building, according to reports. 

No clear motive has been identified for the shooting--after all, Leforce isn't even the person who was being evicted, and Deputy Wade was merely serving the notice, not the one ordering the eviction. However, Leforce has a long criminal history including convictions for attempting to elude police and feloniously pointing a firearm at an officer.

In that incident, which occurred in 2001, Leforce was convicted after driving at a high rate in an attempt to provoke an officer to pursue him. When a chase began, Leforce drove to a cemetery, got out of his vehicle, and pointed a weapon at an officer. When he refused to comply with the officer's command to drop the gun, the officer shot a tire on Leforce's vehicle. The man then sped away, and the officer lost him.

Law enforcement later found the car abandoned at a farmhouse in Stillwater, and the AR-15 rifle discarded about a half-mile from there. They arrested Leforce walking down the side of the road.

In that case, law enforcement determined the incident was an attempt at "suicide by cop." He was given four years of probation.

Other cases were more minor: obstructing an officer in 2007 (one year in jail); bogus check (dismissed after he paid restitution); kidnapping, child endangerment, and domestic violence in 2015 (dismissed); and harboring a runaway and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (dismissed).

Only the 2001 case seems to foreshadow the violence that took place in Logan County yesterday. If convicted, Leforce faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.

Image credit: Logan County Sheriff's

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