Stringtown officer describes being shot at by pedestrian

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STRINGTOWN, Okla. (KXII) - "I made eye contact with him as he pulled the trigger," Officer Zachary Rice said.

Officer Rice's shift was coming to an end, when he says he spotted a man walking along Highway 69 in Stringtown.

"He was walking, he was walking northbound in the southbound lane," Rice said.

Officer Rice tells us he approached the man to see what he was doing, and that's when the situation became violent.

Rice says he was about five feet from the man when he walked up to him.

"I said good evening how are you, [he] immediately drew from his waist band, pulled a weapon, turned towards me and fired his shot," He said.

Rice says the bullet came close to his face.

"It was a snub-nose revolver, chrome... I'm assuming a large caliber," Rice said.

Rice says the man took off on foot as soon as he fired the shot.

That's when Rice turned on his body cam, and couldn't fire back.

"There was a bunch of cars [that ]went," He said, "there was just too many cars and I couldn't take that risk."

Several local agencies (including Atoka police and the Atoka County Sheriff's office) assisted in the search for the man.

"[The man is ] approximately six foot, he was wearing a black hoodie, camouflage pants, white tennis shoes," Sheriff Tony Head said, "the officer said he was a white male, clean shaven."

Search dogs from McAlester tracked the man's scent, but lost it after a mile.

"You're taught from a young age not to give strangers rides, well that's kind of our job is to check on strangers," Rice said.

Rice says he hopes people understand these incidents don't only happen in big cities.

"This is a small town, like I said, small department if it can happen anywhere," He said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Stringtown Police or the Atoka County Sheriff's Office.