Until almost 3:00 am this morning, there were about 25,000 people listening to a police scanner and I was one of them. The scene was in and around Italy, Texas where two men stole a police vehicle after an encounter. Two men, brothers were in constant radio contact with a police sergeant. This officer worked diligently and with tremendous compassion attempting to have the two brothers give up their fight. It did not end well. Here is a stellar example of how the ‘thin Blue Line’ works a criminal case.
During the negotiations, both brothers repeatedly threatened suicide, and Miguel ranted about a supposed strained relationship with his mom that drove him to drug use when he was in high school. One of the suspects said he was refusing surrender because he didn’t want to go back to jail, according to a WFAA reporter on the scene. One brother also threatened to kill the other one, according to WBAP.
DALLAS – Two brothers in a stolen police SUV died early Wednesday morning after a standoff that closed Interstate 35E near Waxahachie.
Law enforcement tells News 8 that one man committed suicide and the other was killed after pointing a police rifle at officers.
For more than two hours, deputies used the two-way police radio in the stolen cruiser to negotiate with the men inside.
The drama was heard live by thousands of people across the country who found the audio feed on the Internet.
The audio feed is in this link.
The situation started at about 10 p.m. Tuesday when an Italy police officer pulled the brothers over on I-35 near the Italy exit, forcing them to pull into a Shell gas station.
There was “probable cause” to search their vehicle and the officer found a gun inside. While the search was taking place, the brothers jumped into the officer’s Chevy Tahoe.
The officer tried to smash the SUV’s window and ended up ripping the handle off the door. He suffered injuries to his hand.
A Milford Police Department officer at the gas station fired several shots at the tires of the SUV, but he suspects took off on I-35.
Ellis County Sheriff’s Department deputies pursued the stolen SUV for almost an hour. Deputies even laid out spike strips to puncture the tires of the Tahoe.
The suspects finally stopped in the southbound lanes of I-35E near Forreston – just south of the Waxahachie city limits.
An Ellis County sheriff’s negotiator then began speaking to the driver, who identified himself as “Miguel.” He told the negotiator that he did not want to go back to jail. Miguel’s brother, who identified himself as “Daniel,” was also in the vehicle making demands.
Miguel told the negotiator that he was armed with a knife, but then conceded he only had a set of keys he found in the stolen police SUV.
At one point, Miguel asked for a phone to call a close friend, and then said he wanted to reach out to his mother. He told the negotiator that he and his mom had an estranged relationship that drove him to experiment with drugs in high school.
If the negotiator couldn’t immediately provide a phone call, Miguel said, then he would take a cigarette to calm down.
But both suspects threatened suicide the entire time.
Within a few minutes, the situation deteriorated.
“Miguel are you still with me?” the negotiator asked on the two-way radio. “Miguel, are you still there, brother?”
“I’m getting out! I’m shooting you guys!” Miguel was heard yelling before using an expletive.
Immediately, there was a barrage of 10 to 20 gunshots, said News 8 photojournalist Josh Stephen who was at the scene.
Law enforcement told News 8 that it appeared one brother killed himself, and the other was shot dead by deputies or state troopers when he pointed a rifle at them. It is believed it was a police-issued rifle that he grabbed from the stolen police SUV.
No law enforcement officer was hurt.
Italy PD says it has three other patrol cars and two SUVs so the incident will not impact their response time. It’s believed the stolen Tahoe may be totaled, but that is unconfirmed at this time.
Police are now reviewing surveillance video from the Shell gas station.
The Texas Department of Transportation was called out to help reroute southbound traffic on I-35E. Those lanes were a crime scene, and were closed for hours overnight.
All lanes of I-35 reopened at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. *** The officer that worked the negotiations went to the hospital himself, the stress that rested clearly on his shoulders brought him close to an emotional breakdown. #BlueLivesMatter