Oklahoma former Empire quarterback died trying to save his dog from an icy pond

A former Empire quarterback, duck hunter, drowned in Stephens County on Saturday while trying to save his dog from an icy pond.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said Tanner James Shorter, 22, of Duncan, the duck hunter, tried to rescue his dog that was retrieving a duck on Saturday near Duncan.

McKinney said Shorter tried to reach the dog after the dog became disabled on a frozen pond.


Shorter and the dog broke through the ice and fell in the water. Shorter was recovered from about 12 feet of water.

The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office told the Duncan Banner that a man drowned Saturday morning while trying to save his dog. Friends and family identify him as 22 year old Tanner Shorter.

Shorter was with a group out duck hunting near Paul Road. His dog went into an icy pond to retrieve a duck. Shorter went to help his dog.

He died trying to save his dog.

The sheriff’s office told the Duncan Banner the case has been turned over to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Lake Patrol.

Friends of Shorter say he was a big part of the Duncan and Empire community. He is survived by parents, friends and his wife, who is expecting their first child.

A candlelight vigil will be held at Empire High School where he graduated. It will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 in the school’s cafeteria.

According to KSWO, a memorial has already been held for Shorter. There is no official word on the fate of the dog that Shorter died trying to save.



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