By Wilbert E. Wiggs
A "routine arrest" turned into a wild gun battle Monday evening when a highway
patrolman stopped a car for running a red light.
Trooper Walter Crow, en route home for dinner, stopped a car driven by Charles Edwin Reid,
26, an escapee from Eastern Oklahoma State hospital and a murder suspect.
In the wild melee which followed, the pair exchanged at least 20 shots before both fell,
seriously wounded. The gun battle took place about 7 o'clock in the 300 block of West
Crow suffered wounds in the neck and back. Reid's wounds included two apparently from shot
gun blasts fired by Crow in the back and buttock area, two holes in the right temple and a
small wound in the side of the neck.
The young patrolman had followed the stole car driven by Reid into Madill from a location
near Tishomingo. He was unaware that the driver and the car were being sought since he had
gone on duty at 4 p.m. and had not received reports on the vehicle.
As the patrolman and Reid came into Madill on SH 99, the trooper said the suspect's car
ran a red light on US 70. The car continued west onto Lillie Boulevard.
Crow turned on his red light. As he did Crow saw Reid reach down beneath the seat.
"He's got an open bottle," Crow said he thought when he saw Reid reaching down.
Reid then raised up as Crow got from the patrol unit and was approaching with his
flashlight in his left hand. Crow then saw the rifle and immediately began running toward
the rear of Reid's car, attempting to see cover and reach his own car.
A shot stuck Crow in the neck as he was moving away. He then pulled his .38 caliber
service revolver and returned fire. He emptied his service pistol while Reid continued his
Crow managed to get his "slug" gun - a double barrel 12 gauge shotgun the
trooper carried in the patrol car and loaded with shot gun shells. He fire two shots from
the weapon, emptying it and then secured the regular shotgun from the car.
Reid was attempting to get back inside the stolen car when Crow picked up the shotgun - a
12 gauge - and ran into the street. The officer fired three times as the fugitive
attempted to get back
into his car.
The wanted man fell into the front seat of the stolen car. Crow then attempted to return
to his patrol car and fell into the street beside his car.
When Crow returned to the patrol car to obtain the shotguns, he also transmitted a radio
message for help.
Policeman James Walker who was parked at the Supermarket two blocks away heard Crow's
appeal for help. Walker had already heard the gunshots which he said "sounded like a
bunch of firecrackers."
"Madill Car Eight. Help. West Lillie," Walker said Crow called out on the first
message. Before the city officer arrived, he said Crow called out two more messages saying
he was in trouble on one and that he was shot on another.
As Walker drove up, the said Crow was standing in the middle of the street, "blasting
away" with the pump shotgun. Walker pulled his own pistol as he jumped from the city
patrol unit and
"I got him. Get me an ambulance or take me to the hospital," Walker said Crow
yelled as he rushed forward.
About the same time, Marchello Cavallo, an off-duty trooper, arrived. He has heard Crow's
first cry for help on the police radio at the city hall and immediately went to the scene
in his private car.
He and Walker put Crow in Cavallo's car and the officer took him to the Marshall Memorial
Hospital. A Watts ambulance was called to move Reid to the hospital.
Doctors and nurses at the hospital worked feverishly over the two men administering
emergency treatment for nearly two hours. Both were transferred to Oklahoma City by Watts
Crow filled in the details leading up to the gun battle after he reached the hospital. He
related to his superiors, city and county officials how he came to stop the murder
Reid voluntarily told a nurse of his involvement in the robbery slaying of Clifford
Sinclair, 52, a Braman service station operator on September 9, 1968.
Father Thompson, a Catholic priest from Sulphur who serves this area, was called to the
hospital for Reid. He administered some church rite to the man whose condition at the time
regarded as "extremely grave."
Reid was well supplied with ammunition. When officers searched the stolen car after the
shooting they found one opened box of .22 long rifle shells and five more boxes, each
containing 50 shells. The gun used by Reid to start the fight held 17 shells. Officers
removed five bullets from the gun after taking it from the car.
The fracas was witnessed by at least four persons. There were others nearby who also heard
the gunfire exchange.
Apparently the person nearest the entire gun battle was Barclay Martin, an employee of
Martin said he turned into Lillie from Second Avenue just as Trooper Crow was stopping
Reid's car. As he approached in his car, Crow was outside the patrol unit approaching the
"It was just like any routine stop," Martin said. "As he (Crow) walked
up...... the man in the car fired the first shot."
Martin who stopped and ducked to the safety of the floorboard, said he saw Crow moving
backward and staggering like he'd been it. He also saw Reid get out of the stolen car as
Crow went behind the same vehicle, cross behind it and retreat to the patrol car.
Asked if he could estimate the number of shots exchanged, Martin replied, "It sounded
like a bunch."
Another witness was Ruth Roberson, an employee of Brookside Manor who lives in Oakland.
She and her daughter Dovie, 15, were in the family car approaching Lillie on South Fourth
Mrs. Roberson said she heard what she first thought was a blowout. As she drove up to
Lillie she saw the gun battle underway.
"I saw these men exchanging shots," she said at the scene. "They never said
anything...... just shooting."
The girl said Crow started to walk away when the police car arrived and fell to the
street. He attempted to get up and fell a second time.
Time of the shooting was pinpointed by Dale Waymire who was arriving for a Boy Scout
meeting at the Methodist church a block south.
Waymire said as he arrived one of the Scouts remarked he was late. He said he looked at
his watch and replied that he wasn't late because it was two minutes until seven.
He added the shooting started moments later. Waymire said he could see through an open
area and could see the vehicles and Crow moving back and forth in the headlights.
Authorities said Lois Marie Jones was west of the scene near Fifth Avenue in a car and
heard the shooting. They had not obtained a statement from her late Monday night. Cleo
Sandefur was also a witness.
Hundreds of spectators flocked into the area with minutes after the shooting stopped. A
massive traffic jam snarled the street as more people arrived. Spectators were quick to
comply with officer's request to clear cars and stay away from the patrol unit and stolen
Courtesy of Butch Bridges, Ardmore,