The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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State, national news

March 21, 2013

Two Oklahoma teens shot in home invasion

— Two heavily armed teenage friends from Oklahoma drove hundreds of miles in a stolen pickup to a small town near Dallas where they were fatally shot during an attempted home invasion, a sheriff's official said Thursday.

Kenneth Chaffin, 17, and Dillon King, 18 — both of Bethel Acres, Okla. — died Wednesday afternoon in Maypearl, Texas, authorities said. Texas sheriff's officials said the teens exchanged gunfire with the property owner, although they may have died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Early Wednesday, Oklahoma sheriff's officials issued an alert for national law enforcement to be on the lookout for Chaffin, who they said ran away Monday from his home, which is about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The alert said he had stolen his parents' red 1991 Ford Ranger pickup truck, a stash of prescription medication, 17 guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

On Wednesday afternoon, a homeowner in Maypearl — 35 miles south of Dallas and some 240 miles south of Bethel Acres — noticed someone was trying to open her back door. She looked out the window and saw a camouflage-clad armed man.

Her husband yelled and retrieved a gun. Two suspects darted from behind the house and ran toward a field, firing at the home as they fled. The husband shot back and may have hit one of the suspects, Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown said. The woman called 911.

Sheriff's deputies found one suspect dead in the field and the other inside the stolen pickup truck. Both appeared to have died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, the sheriff's department said. No one else was hurt.

Pottawatomie County, Okla., Undersheriff J.T. Palmer said Chaffin and King were identified through photographs and because King had distinctive tattoos on the webbing of his fingers.

The teens lived about a mile apart in Bethel Acres but authorities had no idea the two were together when Chaffin was reported missing, Palmer said, adding that King was not reported missing.

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