Two Blair High School students have been identified as the teenagers who died in a shootout Sunday in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
In a message to Blair High parents, Blair Community Schools Superintendent Randall Gilson said that two 17-year-old juniors at the high school, Farrah Rauch and Joseph Dugan, had died.
Muskogee police officers responded to an attempted carjacking at 3 p.m. Sunday, according to Officer Lynn Hamlin, a Muskogee police spokeswoman. A short time later, a pickup was reported stolen in the same area of the attempted carjacking.
Officers spotted the stolen pickup, and after a short pursuit, the truck crashed and the occupants ran off. Officers chased the two on foot, Hamlin said, and Rauch started shooting at the officers. The officers then shot and killed Rauch, Hamlin said.
Dugan kept running. Officers set up a perimeter, surrounding him.
Police used a drone to find Dugan in a heavily wooded area. As officers began to approach him, Hamlin said, Dugan fatally shot himself.
Four Muskogee police officers were placed on paid leave following the shooting, Hamlin said. One of the officers sustained a minor injury to his hand as a result of a fall during the foot chase.
"We are aware of additional contact with law enforcement in at least one other state, and crimes that occurred in other states as well," Hamlin said. "We are currently working on confirming that information through the states of Florida and Arkansas."
Gilson, the Blair superintendent, said, "We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss. We shared this news with high school students (Monday) at school."
Gilson said students at the high school were given the opportunity to visit with their teachers and a school counselor. He asked parents to "be sensitive to any changes in your child’s behavior over the next few days and encourage your child to express his or her feelings."
He also asked the families in Blair Community Schools to keep the families of the teens in their thoughts.
If students need additional help, they may contact school counselors or grief counselors at Arbor Family Counseling at 402-330-0960, Gilson said.
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