Patrolman Howard and Captain William Bourland were shot and killed during a shootout of several armed robbery suspects. The officers had located three suspects who had robbed a store in Spiro, Oklahoma, earlier in the evening. They began to chase the car down Spiro Highway and chased them onto Towson Avenue where they ran it off the road near South Y Street. A shootout ensued and Captain Bourland, Patrolman Howard, and all three suspects were shot. One of the suspects died at the scene.
Captain Bourland was shot in the head, and twice in the chest. He was pronounced dead at St. Edward Hospital. Patrolman Howard was struck in neck, chest, and both hands. He succumbed to his wounds two days later. The two surviving suspects were taken into custody. Both were sentenced to life in prison but the sentence of one of the suspects was commuted and he was paroled.
Patrolman Howard had been with the agency for 20 years and was survived by his wife, son and daughter.