An Oklahoma man who threatened his estranged wife at knifepoint and tried drowning his three-month-old twins in a bathtub was shot and killed by a good guy with a gun last Friday.
The horrific incident took place in the town of Ada, around 50 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The Ada News says 30-year-old Michelle Sorrells was staying at her mother and stepfather’s home there along with her niece and twins in a bid to move on from a physically abusive relationship with her childrens’ father, Leland Foster, 27.
Sorrells told The Ada News that the week before, Foster had struck their three-month-old daughter in the mouth multiple times. Sorrells broke off the relationship, telling Foster he needed to get help for his anger issues.
On Friday, June 2, at around 12:30 p.m., Foster showed up at the house in Ada, demanding to see Sorrells and the kids. Sorrells wouldn’t let him in the house, telling Foster to stay away her and the children.
“He turned around to leave and he was dead calm, so I turned my back on him to unlock the door,” Sorrells said. “But, as soon as I opened the door he tackled me and forced his way into the house.”
Foster entered the home—knocking Sorrells down on the ground in the process—and went straight for the twins, The Ada News said.
“I got up and went to grab them from him and he tackled me again while he was holding them,” Sorrells said.
Injured—she fell on a space heater which caused her to break several lower vertebra—Sorrells told her 12-year-old niece to call 911.
That’s when Sorrells says Foster “ran with the babies to the bathroom and I heard the water being turned on.”
Foster came back to the living room without the babies and knocked Sorrells back down to the ground when she tried to get up. He then grabbed a knife from the kitchen as Sorrells’ niece tried to take the twins out of the bathtub which was filling with water. Sorrells also tried running into the bathroom, but Foster caught up to her and rammed the door with a knife in his hand.
An intense physical struggle between Sorrells and Foster ensued. While they fought, Sorrells’ niece tried to save the twins—who were both submerged underwater at this point—but Foster slammed her head into a wall and knocked her down.
Foster then started choking Sorrells. When she begged him not to hurt the kids, Foster chillingly replied “‘You said it was too late. I can’t see them anymore so you’re all going to go,’ that’s what he said,” Sorrells told The Ada News.
Sorrells says she tried to take her son out of the water, but Foster took him from her and threw him back in the bathtub, face down. Foster then pushed Sorrells onto the ground and sat on her.
Sorrells told The Ada News that as she began losing consciousness she started to hear yelling.
“That’s when I hear two shots ring out,” Sorrells said. “As soon as I heard the shots he yelled, ‘Oh,’ and I shoved him off of me and grabbed my babies. He dropped and twitched one time on the floor and then went still.”
As it turns out, Sorrells’ niece had run to a neighbors house for help. That neighbor, later identified as Cash Freeman, grabbed his revolver and headed next door. When he saw what was happening, he shot Foster twice.
Afterward, Sorrells says Freeman looked at her and asked “Ma’am, are you okay? Are the babies okay?”
Police arrived on the scene and the twins were taken to an area hospital for treatment. They both had skull fractures but are expected to survive. Sorrells was also taken to the hospital for treatment. She said she has three “compression fractures” in her lower back, as well as a fractured left foot and multiple bruises and abrasions.
“If it wasn’t for him my babies and I would be dead,” Sorrells said of Freeman.
Ada Public Information Director Lisa Bratcher has said police won’t be recommending charges against Freeman for shooting Leland. Still, the case will be reviewed by the District Attorney, which is standard protocol.
Foster has a history of violence. The Washington Post says he was arrested in 2011 and charged with arson and domestic violence by strangulation in the first degree. In that incident, he allegedly choked his ex-girlfriend and set clothes on fire inside an apartment. Police also found the bathtub filled with water and electronic devices. He pled no contest to those charges.