Robbers ambush, shoot off-duty Oklahoma County sheriff's major

Maj. John Waldenville, a 25-year veteran of the Oklahoma County sheriff's office, was shot while walking money from Cattleman's Steakhouse to a nearby bank, officials said.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Modified: May 22, 2011 at 8:28 am •  Published: May 22, 2011
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“I didn't realize the extent of his injuries until right before we'd gotten here to the hospital ... It's been very, very hard,” she said.

“He's a strong individual. He won't let this get him down. Not at all. It's going to be a long road, but he will persevere, and I will be there right with him every step of the way,” she said.

“It's just been a big shock. Once you finally get here and see the condition that he's in, I think it really just hits home,” son Jason Waldenville said.

“You always see it on the news, and you feel bad for that person and their family, but you just don't ever really think it's going to hit home,” he said.

Spreading the news

Oklahoma County Treasurer Butch Freeman said he received the news shortly after the shooting and helped spread news to other county employees early Saturday.

“We're still numb. We really, truly are. With each bit of news we're getting, we're a little more encouraged, but he's still got a long path ahead of him,” Freeman said.

“He is a very well-respected part of the Oklahoma County community. There is no better loved employee in Oklahoma County than John Waldenville,” he said.

“There's some anger in there, as well, make no mistake about it. What a cowardly thing to do,” Freeman said.

Whetsel said that in addition to the local law officers and government employees that called John Waldenville a friend, he also had received numerous phone calls from those he'd met across the country.

“He's got the Waldenville family and the sheriff's office family,” Whetsel said.

Contributing: Staff Writer Michael Kimball

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How to help

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office Fraternal Order of Police Local No. 155 is organizing a fundraiser for Maj. John Waldenville. A golf tournament will be at 8 a.m. June 27 at Silverhorn Golf Course in Oklahoma City. Cost is $100 per person. Lunch is included, and there will be a silent auction. For more information, email oscofop155@gmail.com.

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