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Man, Woman Die in Okla. Shootout

August 18, 1998

WILBURTON, Okla. (AP) _ An apparent domestic dispute turned into a shootout Monday on a downtown street in which a man and woman were killed and the sheriff was wounded.

The woman and a friend were shopping in a department store when the man entered with a .22-caliber rifle and ordered everyone to leave, said Kym Koch, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The woman fled through a side door, and the man followed and killed her, Ms. Koch said.

According to witnesses, Latimer County Sheriff Melvin Holly ordered the man to drop his rifle, the gunman shot the sheriff and Holly fired back, killing the gunman.

``The sheriff was holding his stomach, walking around saying, `I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot,‴ said Nate Johnson, who saw the shooting from the window of a nearby drugstore. ``He just sat down in the middle of the street.″

The identities of the dead couple were not immediately released. He was 41 and she was 24, authorities said.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Dunagan said the shooting apparently arose out of a domestic dispute but he did not have any details.

Holly, 57, was taken by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital where he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his stomach. He was listed in fair condition Monday evening.

Holly, the sheriff since 1996, was cleared earlier this year in the killing of an armed man who allegedly threatened passersby with a rifle. Witnesses reported several blasts before seeing the sheriff fire.

Update hourly