TULSA - A man who police and prosecutors say was a central figure in the conspiracy to kill a Tulsa businessman reportedly killed himself Monday night after an hours-long standoff involving a 11-year-old hostage.
It began in a home near North 51st St. and Utica Ave early Monday evening.
Police say Allen Shields, who had taken an ex-girlfriend and her daughter hostage and attacked the woman at the same address in February, 2010, had confronted the pair as they arrived at home about 5:30 p.m. Monday.
The woman managed to get away, but Shields refused to let the girl go, even after police arrived and surrounded the home.
TPD's Special Operations Team deployed as negotiations continued.
"We talked to him several different times," TPD spokesman Leland Ashley said. "We talked to him by cell phone and when officers first arrived on scene they talked to him through the window."
Police say Shields threatened to harm the girl, but eventually they convinced him to release her safely.
Shortly after she exited the home, officers heard gunfire inside. Officers say Shields fired one shot at officers and then fired a second taking his own life.
"We have invested hundreds and hundreds of hours investigating crimes that he's been associated with or the suspect in. Certainly it's not the answer we wanted, certainly we would much rather have him go before a jury of his peers and be convicted of those crimes and sentenced to prison, but again let me reiterate, this was a decision that Allen Shields made last night," said Officer Jason Willingham with the Tulsa Police Department.
His death complicates the difficult and already extremely complex Neal Sweeney murder case.
Sweeney, a 63-year-old prominent businessman and community leader, was gunned down in his office at Retail Fuels Marketing in September, 2008.
Allen Shields was a key witness in the murder of Sweeney. Shields already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in that case. Tulsa District Attorney, Tim Harris, said Shields' death will be a major setback when it comes time for trial.
Several other charges against Shields from other crimes were dropped after he made a plea deal with the state and agreed to testify against the other four men charged in the Sweeney case.
Shields was scheduled to be in court Monday for a status hearing, he made regular court appearances after the plea deal and he never missed one until Monday.
"My whole career has been devoted to trying to make wise decisions to keep people safe. I don't have a crystal ball that tells me what is going to happen in the future of any given case. We tried to make the best decisions that we thought with the evidence that we were presented at the time," said Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris
In the plea deal he made with the state, Shields would only serve ten years probation for all of his pending charges in a variety of criminal cases.