Standoff ends, suspect in jail - Odessa American: News

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Standoff ends, suspect in jail

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Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:00 am

Suspect Victor Dewayne White, 55, has been released from Medical Center Hospital, into Midland County Central Detention Center following a 21-hour standoff at his property on 14601 W. University Blvd. Deputies Steve McNeil and Ricky Tijerina remain stable in fair condition at MCH as of Saturday night. Private citizen Luke Bedrick was treated and released Friday.

CLICK HERE to read the full story on the conclusion to the standoff.

Read below to see how things stood as of Friday night and how events unfolded Saturday.

 

 

UPDATE 5:54 p.m. Saturday:

Victor White, 14601 W. University Blvd., booked into Midland jail on one count of aggravated assault against a public servant.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.:

A Medical Center Hospital spokeswoman says standoff suspect Victor White has been treated and released. She said deputies Steve McNeill and Ricky Tijerina remain stable in fair condition.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.:

Texas Department of Public Safety John Barton says the location of incident is now "one big crime scene." Barton says Victor White had high-caliber rifles, but they haven't confirmed any traps or other people in the area. Barton says White to be taken to Midland County Central Detention Center.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.:

Sheriff Mark Donaldson says subject Victor White surrendered and was taken to hospital to treat his injuries, at least some of which were sustained from the fire he started at his own home.

"He’s got some injuries from the fire that was in the house. We know he started one fire. He set something on fire on the porch, as far as the rest of it, we don’t know," Donaldson said.

Donaldson confirms White took Sheriff's Office vehicle. Donaldson says Texas Rangers obtained arrest warrants on White in connection with attempted capital murder of a peace officer.

UPDATE 1:25 p.m.

Explosion occurs south of University Boulevard, sending thick, black smoke into the air.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m.

A smoke bomb was dropped in the area of the standoff and the suspect continues to fire at the DPS helicopter and law enforcement officials on the ground. In all, 35 agencies are on the case near the 14000 block of West University where a gunman has been holed up since about 4 p.m. Friday.

Three people were wounded Friday and the second wounded deputy has been identified as Steve McNeill, said Ector County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Gary Duesler.

Duesler said McNeill and Ricky Tijerina, who was shot in the shoulder, were listed in stable condition and "talking to family members, which is a good sign."

"As far as the situation (with the standoff), we're exactly where we were last night," Duesler said.

 

 

A West Odessa man wounded three people, including two sheriff’s deputies, during a shooting spree that started Friday afternoon in West Odessa, authorities said. 

The man still had not been caught but was thought to be holed up on his five-acre property.

Earlier, the man taunted law enforcement over a police radio that he reportedly took from one of the wounded deputies and called out Sheriff Mark Donaldson by name repeatedly.

“Mr. Donaldson, the wrath of the public is coming,” the unidentified suspect said via the police radio.

E-mail and phone calls to the Odessa American described the suspect as a Vietnam-era vet who may be disabled and who holds a grudge against the sheriff’s office for reasons that were not clear by presstime.

Neighbors said the man had a stockpile of weapons at his home and that he seemed paranoid. The man reportedly flies his American flag upside down near the small travel trailer he lives in.

Donaldson remained at the scene as of presstime and could not be reached for comment. ECSO spokesman Sgt. Gary Duesler said he was unaware of any personal history between the sheriff and the suspect.

As the suspect was holding law enforcement off at his home in the 14000 block of University Blvd., Ken Nelson of Pleasant Farms said in a phone interview that he has known the man for more than 15 years.

“He’s a man that stands up for his rights. He doesn’t take any horse crap from anybody,” Nelson said. “They’ve been trying to get him off of his property for some time.”

“He told me a long time ago if they ever came out there and attacked him, he’d go for the whole wad,” Nelson added. 

An anonymous caller said he was a fellow war vet and friend. He claimed he called law enforcement and offered to try and talk the suspect out. “They refused to let me go out there,” he said.

The man said the suspect wanted to talk to the national media — particularly Fox News — and declined to call the Odessa American. “His phone only has a little battery left in it,” the friend said. “He needs it for tactical purposes.”

One of the victims, Luke Bedrick, was treated and released at Medical Center Hospital, said his cousin, Renee Pettigrew. Bedrick declined to speak to be interviewed at his house late Friday.

One of the sheriff’s deputies, Ricky Tijerina, 28, was shot in the back of the shoulder but was recovering, his brother, Tim Tijerina, said.

“(The bullet) missed any major arteries. It went in the back of his shoulder and came out his neck. He’s good,” Tijerina said.

Pettigrew lives down the street from where the shooting happened. She said she thinks Bedrick went to a property to remove a trailer, and that the man started shooting, wounding Bedrick and the two deputies.

“They went to get it and he didn’t want to give it up I guess,” Pettigrew said. “Luke, actually, from what I’ve heard, took off his shirt and tried to help the deputy. I was kind of in shock because I live two blocks away from where all that’s happening. I think every deputy in the county was out there.”

Pettigrew said Bedrick has four small children. “I feel very blessed that he is OK,” she said.

The other wounded deputy had not been identified as of presstime. One deputy was in fair condition and another was listed in serious condition as of 11:15 p.m. Friday, said MCH spokeswoman Jacqui Gore.

Nikki Rodriquez, a friend of Tijernina, said she rushed with her husband Anthony to the hospital after learning of the shooting. “It’s scary to think you can lose somebody you have known for so long,” she said outside the emergency room.

Tim Tijerina estimated that his brother has been on the force about a year and half. He added he was relieved after talking with his brother. He said Ricky Tijerina’s birthday is today.

Meanwhile, a heavy law enforcement presence remained in the area of University Boulevard and Knox Avenue as of midnight Friday.

The suspect fired at law enforcement numerous times during the standoff. Law enforcement indicated the suspect may have fired at a Department of Public Safety helicopter.

The OPD mobile unit command center joined DEA agents, FBI, Odessa police, Ector County sheriff's deputies, UPTB officers and DPS officials in the area of Knox and University following the shootings.

Medical Center Hospital was on limited lockdown with only patients and staff and certain guests allowed inside and out for part of the day during the early part of the shooting.

The suspect taunted law enforcement over the police scanner, asking them at times to shoot him while also threatening their lives. “Somebody shoot me, I don’t care,” he said. The man on the scanner threatened them to “come on.”

Nelson blamed the government for the suspect’s shooting spree.

“He is a nice guy, he just wants people and the government to leave him alone, and they refuse to do it,” Nelson said. “The man lives by himself. He has no electricity. He has no phone. He hasn’t been off his property in so long."

It was about three years ago that three Odessa Police Department officers were shot and killed while answering a domestic disturbance call in western Odessa. Two weeks ago a memorial was unveiled at OPD to honor the three and other law enforcement who have died in the line of duty.

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