A Newton County man who allegedly tried to break into a home in Ottawa County is in custody after being shot at by the resident, a mother who said she was protecting herself and her three-year-old son.
Nathan Owen Lankford, 34, whose rural Joplin address is listed as being on NN Highway, is being held in the Newton County Jail on charges of a felon in possession of a firearm and driving on a suspended license. Ottawa County has also charged him with first degree burglary. He will be extradited to Oklahoma when the Newton County charges are disposed of.
According to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Alex Jackson, 24, and her three-year-old son were at home on Cayuga Road, in rural Wyandotte. Jackson told deputies that she was sleeping in bed when she heard the doorbell ring and then a knock at the door. She said she looked out her front window and saw a strange man, later identified as Lankford, standing in the front yard, and a black Chevrolet S-10 pickup parked in front of her house. She said she saw another person, later identified as 23-year-old Jessie Buening, inside the pickup.
Jackson said that Lankford then opened her outer foyer door, which had been locked, and began to open the inner door, which was also locked. Jackson said that she got her .22 caliber pistol, which she kept in the house, and chambered a round. Jackson said that the inner door knob of the house began to turn when she opened the door, pointed her firearm at Lankford and began to shoot. Jackson told deputies that she was afraid that the man would enter her residence and harm her and her child, so she took action out of fear for their safety.
Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland separately reported that at least one of the rounds went through the windshield of Lankford's pickup. Jackson said that Lankford sped away, headed north on Cayuga Road, toward U.S. Highway 60.
Surveillance video from the Indigo Sky Casino showed the black Chevrolet pickup turning off of Cayuga Road, and heading east onto U.S. 60. Ottawa County Dispatch notified the Newton County Sheriff's Department of the incident and a Newton County detective posted his vehicle on Highway 60, two miles inside the Missouri line.
Copeland said that just a few minutes later, the suspect's vehicle, with the bullet hole in the windshield, sped by and the detective gave pursuit. Copeland said that Lankford didn't try to flee and he pulled over right away. Copeland said that Lankford did not resist arrest. He was alone in the truck at the time, though deputies later located Buening at a nearby residence and she is being detained for questioning.
Lankford had a .243 rifle in the truck with him, which he said belonged to his father, but was illegal to be in his possession as he is a convicted felon. Lankford was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 for theft and felony possession of marijuana.
Page 2 of 2 - The Oklahoma burglary charge has a set bond amount of $100,000.