PARKER COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — Authorities in Parker County have shot and killed a suspect who fled police on Monday and sought refuge inside a nearby home.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler says officers engaged the suspect, 44-year-old Winfred Watkins, early Tuesday morning following an overnight standoff.
“The deputies held the perimeter all night on the residence, and then about 5:20 this morning he dropped down out of the ceiling and engaged the deputies,” said Sheriff Fowler. “He had some type of handgun pointed at the deputies and they opened fire. He was hit in the chest and he is deceased.”
Following the shooting, Watkins crawled into a bathroom. Authorities inserted a pole camera through the bathroom window to confirm his condition. When police entered the residence, Watkins was deceased.
The incident began on Monday afternoon when an officer pulled Watkins and a female over around 1 p.m. for a routine traffic stop. Watkins exited his vehicle and approached the deputy with a stack of papers in his hands. The deputy also noticed a pistol concealed in the papers and demanded that Watkins drop the weapon.
Watkins refused and returned to his vehicle to retrieve a wrench, which he used to hit the driver side window of the patrol vehicle. A fully-loaded AR-15 was located in the front seat of the vehicle, according to Fowler.
When the deputy demanded from his position in a nearby tree line that the suspect stop, Watkins turned toward the officer. The officer fired at Watkins, missing each time. The suspect then fled in his Jeep.
Watkins crashed his vehicle near Midway Road and Live Oak in Springtown, but tactical teams and search dogs pinpointed his position to a nearby home. Sheriff Fowler says that Watkins knew the owner of the house he fled to, though the owner was not home.
Authorities attempted to use tear gas to force Watkins out of the home, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
Watkins was sentenced to 45 years for burglary of a habitation and 20 years for felony theft in September, but failed to appear in court during the sentencing. His background also includes convictions for aggravated sexual assault of a child and family violence.
The Texas Rangers will open an investigation into the shooting. The three officers involved will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
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