Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
A man wanted in connection with a shooting in August led law enforcement officials on a high-speed pursuit through Ada Friday, police said.
Police arrested 29-year-old Billy Jack McNeil of Ada after the pursuit. Ada police said Officer Kylor Pool, while on patrol, saw a man in a white pickup not wearing a seat belt. Upon closer inspection, Pool recognized the driver as McNeil, who had several outstanding arrest warrants. When Pool activated his emergency lights, McNeil allegedly fled. The chase started in the 1400 block of N. Country Club. Police said McNeil sped south on Country Club and turned west onto Arlington before eventually turning south on Highland.
Police said McNeil crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of 10th and Highland, but kept going afterwards.
The driver of the vehicle McNeil crashed into at first declined medical treatment, but later called for an ambulance complaining of head pain, according to radio traffic. Her name was not released by press time Saturday.
The pickup McNeil was driving eventually sputtered to a stop near the intersection of 18th and Stadium. Police said McNeil got out of the pickup and fled on foot. Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian drove across a field and cut McNeil off using his patrol vehicle. McNeil was taken to the ground by Officer Pool, Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Kennedy and Christian. Chickasaw Lighthorse police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers also assisted in the pursuit.
McNeil was arrested on suspicion of eluding police officers, defective vehicle, no insurance, no seat belt, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of an offensive weapon, leaving the scene of a personal injury wreck, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm and police scanner during the commission of a felony. County officials said McNeil had 10 outstanding warrants and was wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged shooting just outside of Ada in August.
The shooting occurred on County Road 1550 Aug. 29. Law enforcement arrested Zachary Wayne Shelton, 26, Ada, and Kimberly Joy Haegele, 22, Ada. Deputies responded to a call on County Road 1550 southwest of Ada and spoke with a man, Robert Christopher Gray, who said he’d been shot at by two men on CR 1550. He told deputies he was walking down Johnston Street in Ada when Billy Jack McNeil pulled up in a pickup and began yelling at him, accusing Gray of sleeping with McNeil’s girlfriend, Haegele, who was also in the pickup. Gray said McNeil wanted him to get in the pickup to talk, so he did. The three of them drove away. Gray told deputies that he asked to be dropped off because the conversation wasn’t going to be civil. He said the man drove him to a house on CR 1550 (Reeves Road) where Zachary Shelton was waiting. Gray said he ran away after the vehicle stopped. “(Gray) stated before any fight broke out, he took off running eastbound on County Road 1550,” Deputy Kevin Wood wrote in a report. “Robert stated as he was running he heard (Shelton) yell ‘stop, and come back or I’ll do it.’ (Gray) stated that he turned around and saw that (Shelton) was pointing a rifle at him. Gray stated he kept running and he heard a shot fired, and then a second shot.”
Gray told deputies he was eventually given a ride to a convenience store where he called authorities. Wood responded to the residence on CR 1550 and found a single 30-30 caliber rifle casing in the location where the shots were allegedly fired. Wood said authorities found Shelton and Haegele but McNeil was not found. Shelton was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping, possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, conspiracy to commit a felony, driving under the influence. Haegele was arrested on suspicion of accessory to attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a felony, and accessory to kidnapping. Several Ada schools were placed on lockdown while authorities searched for McNeil. He is held without bond in the Pontotoc County Justice Center.