Man shot in park here but survives
A former Clinton resident visiting relatives here was shot once in the upper left leg early Sunday morning and was reportedly undergoing surgery Monday at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City. A spokesperson there said at 12 noon he was in fair condition.
The victim was James Kirkendoll, 50. Detective Capt. Mike Murley said he was shot about 3 a.m. Sunday at Joe Baker Park in the Lincoln Addition where a large crowd estimated at 100 to 150 people had gathered. Murley said Kirkendoll was interviewed and said he was shot as he was walking away from someone who had pulled a handgun on him. The bullet pierced the back of his upper left leg.
Despite his injury, Kirkendoll drove himself almost to the AllianceHealth Clinton hospital, where medical personnel took over and got him stabilized enough for the transfer to Oklahoma City.
Police were still working on the case Monday morning and did not have a suspect.
“At this point we’re trying to figure out who the individual was that shot him,” said Murley. “Anybody with information is encouraged to contact the Clinton Police Department.” The department’s phone number is 323-2323.
Murley said Kirkendoll now lives in Albuquerque, N.M.
“He called the Police Department about 3 a.m. and said he had been shot in the area of Glenn Smith Road and Modelle Avenue,” said the detective.
The Custer County Sheriff’s Office was requested to send someone to the hospital while Clinton policemen Jeff Robbins and Curtis Weatherly responded to the reported area of the shooting. Detective Sgt. Ray Hammans was called in to investigate the case.
Sheriff Kenneth Tidwell said Deputy Dan Brownfield also responded to where the crowd had gathered while Reserve Deputy Walt Schumacher went to the hospital. When he got there, though, Schumacher discovered that Kirkendoll hadn’t made it because he had run off the road in sight of the hospital. The deputy said he went back, met him and encouraged him to drive on to the hospital, and that he made it to the hospital parking lot before losing feeling in his leg and being unable to go any further. Hospital personnel took over at that point, picking him up in a wheelchair and getting him inside where further emergency measures could be taken and a doctor could see him.
Robbins and Weatherly meantime learned that the shooting had not occurred at Glenn Smith and Modelle but at the nearby park where a large crowd was gathered.
“The officers were able to secure the scene where the shooting had taken place as numerous people were leaving the area,” said Murley. “At the scene they found blood and other evidence.”
During his interview with police, Kirkendoll said he had gotten into an altercation with three males. He told Hammans it was initially just one person but then two others got involved. He said one of the three pulled a gun so he turned and started walking away but as he did he was shot.
Murley said police also learned that the incident may have actually started in Weatherford.
“We’ve learned there was a large house party in Weatherford,” he said. “Police there broke it up, and most of the people left there and came to the park in Clinton. The officers eventually estimated there were 100 to 150 people here. There also was evidence alcohol was being consumed at the park.”
Murley said Monday morning that to the best of his knowledge, nobody was yet in custody from either the party or the shooting.
He said it was his understanding Kirkendoll was visiting people in Clinton and just went to the park “to see what was going on like many others did.”