Shootout at Tulsa International Airport leaves police and suspect injured

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A Tulsa man is in custody after a shootout with a Tulsa International Police officer at Tulsa International Airport (TUL).

Tulsa International Airport police were alerted on November 30, 2021 at around 11:41 PM local time of a shooting on the airport’s arrivals roadway, just outside of the airport’s Concourse B baggage claim.

Tulsa police told local news that the situation actually started a few days prior to the incident, when Houston police notified them of a domestic dispute between a Tulsa couple in Houston. 

After the dispute, the husband flew from Houston back to Tulsa a few days ahead of his wife. Investigators said that the man believed his wife was cheating on him and threatened to kill her when she landed in Tulsa. The wife contacted Houston police before her flight, who in turn contacted Tulsa police to make them aware of the threats.

When she landed at the airport, police escorted her out to a car where her brother was waiting. The husband, who was also waiting for her arrival, began shooting at the car carrying his wife and brother-in-law.  The woman and her brother quickly drove away uninjured.

Officers then chased the gunman to a lower level parking garage where they got into a shootout.  During the shootout, an airport police officer was shot in the chest but did not receive any serious injuries as he was wearing a chest plate. 

The shot officer then returned fire, shooting the suspect in the ankle, which allowed airport officers to arrest the suspect.

An airport transport van carrying five people was caught in the crossfire. Two people were hit with shrapnel by stray bullets, but are expected to be okay. 


Tulsa Airport shootout gunman Joseph Watson. Image from

Tulsa police have named the suspect as 49-year old Joseph Watson. Watson is currently receiving medical treatment and will be booked into jail after his release from the hospital.

Tulsa Airport temporarily and shortly shut down during the incident, but normal operations quickly resumed. No flights were delayed or cancelled. 

In its press statement, Tulsa International Airport said that it is “thankful for our officers’ brave and swift response to the incident. We are grateful for our strong partnership with TPD and for their incredible response to support our police officers.”

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