3 Texas Police Officers Are Shot, and a Standoff Follows – The New York Times
A standoff continued early Monday between the police and a man barricaded inside a house in Cedar Park, Texas, the police said, after three officers were shot and injured there the day before.
After the gunfire, the man barricaded himself inside the house, in a suburb north of Austin, along with his mother and two other relatives, said Mike Harmon, the interim chief of the Cedar Park Police Department. Speaking to reporters near the house on Sunday evening, Chief Harmon pleaded for a nonviolent ending to the standoff.
“We don’t want to see anybody else get hurt, but we do have a message for the suspect inside, and please take this to heart,” Mr. Harmon said. “We want to end this peacefully for everybody involved.”
The three officers who were shot were treated at a nearby hospital, officials said. Mr. Harmon said that he had visited them and that “all are in stable condition and doing well.”
A spokesman for the department said that as of 6 a.m. Monday, the standoff had not ended. On Twitter, the police urged neighbors to stay inside their homes. “It’s still unsafe to leave as we are working an active scene,” the department said.
The episode began around 3 p.m. Sunday, when the police received a phone call from a woman who said her son, in his mid-20s, had kicked in the door of their home on Natalie Cove and was acting aggressively, Chief Harmon said. When officers arrived and entered the home, he said, “they were met with gunfire.”
Officers fired back and struck the man, he said. Mr. Harmon did not specify how many shots were fired by the officers or the man. Neighbors said they had heard numerous rounds fired in several bursts.
After the shooting, the injured officers retreated and the man barricaded himself inside the home, where he remained as Chief Harmon spoke at about 9 p.m. to reporters who had assembled down the street.
“If you’re listening to this, please come out and surrender yourself peacefully so that we can resolve this situation tonight,” Mr. Harmon said at the news conference. He said that he was in touch with relatives of the man, and that the man had “some mental health issues.”
Mr. Harmon said the police had been called to the residence previously but declined to specify further.
Neighbors near the house described a burst of gunfire erupting on a quiet afternoon in the residential community near Heritage Park. About seven houses away from where the shooting took place, Andrew Thompson, 30, said he went to his front yard when he heard sirens approaching a nearby cul-de-sac and saw at least three police cars.
“They were getting really close, and I went outside to see what was going on,” Mr. Thompson said.
About five minutes after going outside, Mr. Thompson said, he heard about 20 rounds of gunfire.
He said he saw officers running down the road asking other officers for help and noticed several were injured. He said that a female officer rendered aid and that he saw two male officers bleeding, one from the head and one from the arm.
Norma Howell, 44, said she saw two male officers enter ambulances, one walking with help and another who was carried into an ambulance.
Another neighbor recalled seeing police vehicles rushing to the scene before hearing several rounds of gunshots.
“You don’t think gunshots around here,” Christine Muat, who lives a block from the scene of the shooting, said in an interview. Video from a security camera on her front door shows two police vehicles speeding by the house. Moments later, several gunshots can be heard.
Ms. Muat said she was inside her home when she and her husband noticed police vehicles moving down the street. Soon they heard “four or five very faint muffled shots,” she said.
Ms. Muat and her husband looked at each other “and then we heard probably three more,” she said.
As Ms. Muat and her neighbors huddled to make sense of what was happening, more gunfire erupted.
“Probably eight to 10, loud — it sounded like AK shots — loud, loud,” she said. Thirty seconds later, another round of shots of 10 to 12, she estimated.
“That’s when we all got into the house and hunkered down,” she said.
Reacting to the news, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas asked all Texans to join him in praying for the officers.
“Our hearts are with the police officers who were injured while protecting the Cedar Park community this afternoon,” he said in a statement.
Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.