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Tahlequah police identify innocent woman killed during chase with shoplifting suspect

Person killed during police chase in Tahlequah with shoplifting suspect (Courtesy)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KTUL) -- Tahlequah police have identified the innocent woman killed on Friday during a police chase involving a shoplifting suspect.

Police say the suspect, 36-year-old Aram Barack Catron was attempting to get away after allegedly shoplifting at Walmart.

A Cherokee Nation Marshal spotted Catron on West Fox Street. While trying to determine if Catron was the suspect police were looking for, the Marshal saw the Ford pickup Catron was driving almost hit another vehicle. Police say the Marshal turned on his lights and sirens and notified Tahlequah police when the truck wouldn't stop.

Police say about a minute later, Catron ran a stop sign on Choctaw and West Avenue. His pickup crashed into Malinda Phillips' Buick Encore.

Phillips died at the scene.

Police Chief Nate King says the impact was so strong that it detached the cab of the suspect's truck and threw the motor of Phillips' car 20 feet away.

Catron remains in critical condition.


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