A SWAT commander and four other officers are wounded after a standoff with a gunman in Levelland, Texas. The suspect was captured just before midnight.
The standoff between the suspect and law enforcement had begun at about 1 p.m. after someone reported a man as possibly armed along a residential street. As soon as they confronted him, gunfire erupted from inside the house, where it was barricaded by an unidentified person; this is when things got serious fast!
Sgt. Josh Bartlett of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office died instantly after being shot in a harrowing shoot-out with three armed robbers at a local hotel and restaurant, according to police officials this morning. The other officers were injured but their lives are not currently believed to be threatened as they recover from injuries sustained during an intense gun battle that took place near West 34th Street and Ave T last night around 8:00 PM CST
Sgt. Josh Bartlett, commander of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s tactical unit was taken to Covenant Health Levelland hospital and died from his wounds in a statement by the sheriff’s office.
Levelland police Sgt. Shawn Wilson was in critical but stable condition after surgery, said Garcia. The other three officers have been discharged from the hospital for minor injuries and are resting at home with their families according to a statement released by Chief James Tolar on Saturday night around 9:00 PM
Omar Soto-Chavira, 22, was injured when he was taken into custody around 11:30 p.m. at a home in Levelland but later died from his injuries and treatment of the wound on Wednesday morning according to police Chief Albert Garcia’s statement as reported by reporters who saw him speak this afternoon. The suspect is currently being transported for hospital care in Lubbock which has yet been confirmed because further details are not available just now due to ongoing investigations
Police used robots to enter the home and deployed gas which drew out Soto-Chiara. The suspect had a history of contact with police, according to Hockley County Sheriff Ray Scifres who said Bartlett, leader of the Lubbock SWAT command was a nine-year veteran in his department who served overseas for the U.S Army before returning as a head office at headquarters where he conducted investigations into homicides such as this one but is survived by family back home including wife Ashley Bruckner-Bartlett; daughter Hollyn Alexandra Bartlet (age 3).
“Josh was a true servant,” Rowe said. “He personified the true professional in law enforcement, especially here in Texas law enforcement.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep Jodey Arrington, who represents Texas’ 19th Congressional District, reacted to Bartlett’s death on Twitter with the tone of voice being informative about his life outside of congress
A trooper was conducting a traffic stop when the man, who has not been identified, suddenly opened fire. The unknown assailant barricaded himself in his home after officers came on the scene. What prompted this sudden act of violence is still unclear; however what started as an ordinary day quickly escalated into something more sinister and violent to all those involved with these events which occurred near 11:17 AM Thursday…
“During that traffic contact, he had a separate individual that was driving recklessly, and as he reported to us, appeared to be trying to bait him into some type of confrontation,” Garcia said.
The concerned neighbor who called the police described the man as being “acting strange” and wandering around with what looked like a large weapon. When officers arrived, they realized that it was indeed their suspect’s truck after hearing him yell obscenities out his window to other drivers nearby.
The police chief said that they were able to open talks with the suspect. However, when he opened fire on their officers, there was nowhere for them to hide but behind a single tree in front of his door. After exchanging shots and no one being hit by either party’s bullets, Garcia says this is where it ended; him fleeing back into the house without any further contact from law enforcement since then.
“We are happy to say that the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office tactical squad and Hockley County Sheriff’s office were able to back up our officers as they came under fire,” said Captain Garcia.
The Covenant Health Levelland hospital, which is less than a mile from where the Lubbock County deputy died in a standoff with police officers on Thursday morning, deployed additional security officers to ensure that their patients and visitors are safe.
Media outlets at the scene reported gunfire was ongoing throughout the standoff, and nearby residents were urged to leave their homes. Some who declined to leave were advised by authorities on how they can protect themselves from stray bullets, while others chose not to listen for fear of getting caught in a crossfire between law enforcement officers and evildoers. Thankfully we have people like Capt Garcia who is always prepared with safety tips should something happen that requires you to evacuate your place or if it’s too dangerous stay low until police have solved this terrifying situation!
Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish said that county flags would be flown at half-staff to honor Bartlett, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. This local oil, cotton, and cattle center is home to about 13,500 residents who are going through many struggles as they say goodbye to their leader.
- • Losing a loved one is an excruciating experience that no one wants to go through.
- • This event can be made easier by the support of family, friends, and co-workers with love and compassion.
- • The Texas community has suffered another great loss in the death of Deputy Josh Bartlett.
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