Trooper Fatally Wounded

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper David "Rocky" Eales, 49, was shot and killed while assisting the district attorney's drug task force in Sequoyah County in an attempt to serve felony warrants at 12:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24. Trooper John "Buddy" Hamilton, 39, received superficial injuries from bullet fragments to both shoulders and his face. He was transported via mediflight to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he was listed in good condition and later released.

Members of the OHP Tactical Team arrived to serve warrants at the residence near Sallisaw. In the lead patrol car, Hamilton and Eales were fired upon as they approached the destination. Eales was hit with a bullet from a .223-caliber assault rifle just below his armpit, above his bulletproof vest. He died in an ambulance en route to the hospital.

One of the two suspects received a nonfatal wound and was transported to a hospital. The other was taken into custody.

The funeral for Trooper Eales was held Tuesday, Sept. 28 at the First Baptist Church in the city of McAlester where he was raised. Hundreds of law enforcement officers attended the service from all over the nation, including more than 300 OHP troopers who stood at attention outside the church as Eales' family entered the building. The U.S. Marine Corps sent a contingent in honor of Eales, a veteran.

Eales was eulogized by several as a hero, a family man and a patriot. H. William "Bill" Dewes, f ormer house speaker and now minority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, told how he and Eales became best friends while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spoke of Eales' love for the highway patrol.

"He was a soldier of the law. Notwithstanding his Marine Corps experience, he would not feel badly about being called a 'soldier'," Dewes said.

Eales' love for his family and his children was described in one story about revealing his red polished toe nails to his father as painted by his daughter. A video compilation of Eales displayed in family photos clearly displayed the love he shared with them.

Gov. Frank and Cathy Keating attended the funeral as did Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin..

"His death was an assault on all the good people of our state. It's just a terrible, awful unforgivable tragedy," said Keating.

Eales was a 20-year veteran of the highway patrol, serving as trooper in Tulsa, Watonga, McAlester and the Indian Nations Turnpike. He became a member of the OHP Tactical Team in the 1970s, and as a trooper, Eales achieved as an expert in skydiving, air assault, urban battle tactics and marksmanship.

Eales and wife Kelli had two children, a daughter Allison or "Pooky," 6 and son Hayden or "Mackey," 2. Mackey wore a tiny OHP uniform and his daddy's campaign trooper hat to the funeral.