A man suspected of shooting two sheriff's deputies and another man, then taunting snipers to make him a martyr before barricading himself in a makeshift bunker, was arrested Saturday after a 22-hour standoff in western Texas, authorities said.
Victor White, 55, of Odessa, surrendered as SWAT team members in an armored vehicle closed in on him outside his trailer, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman John Barton said. White was booked at the Midland County jail for aggravated assault against a public servant, according to online records. No court date or attorney was listed.
Throughout the standoff, White sporadically opened fire on a DPS helicopter and officers from a large dirt mound that contained trenches, bunkers and fighting positions, Barton said. The barricade, which had a white cross and flagpole on top, was built near the trailer where White lived with no utility connections on property that covers several acres.
Earlier, White got inside a sheriff's vehicle and used the radio to taunt officers.
'Political and religious statements'
"He got on the radio and basically was spouting off things about the deputies and law enforcement, making political and religious statements and making comments urging the snipers to make him a martyr," Barton said.
The two Ector County sheriff's deputies were hospitalized in fair condition Saturday, and the other man, who went to trailer in some kind of property dispute, was treated and released, authorities and hospital officials said.
The standoff began Friday afternoon when Luke Bedrick went to the property with Deputy Ricky Tijerina and Sgt. Steve McNeil. Barton said White began firing and struck all three men, and when they retreated for cover, White got into a sheriff's department truck and began making threats on the radio.
Barton said he wasn't sure why the deputies went with Bedrick, and a call to the Ector County Sheriff's Department was not immediately returned Saturday.
"It was a service call for some kind of dispute, something to do with vehicles or a water well," Barton said.
Barton said White has connections to white supremacist organizations and longtime links to the Republic of Texas, which asserts Texas is an independent nation whose government was reactivated in 2005 after 163 years of dormancy. The Odessa American said White is a Vietnam veteran who flew an American flag upside down on his property.
The standoff lasted overnight, and the suspect continued shooting at a police helicopter Saturday morning, sheriff's Sgt. Gary Duesler said.
Duesler said the suspect was well known in the area to be anti-law enforcement.
"There's a lot of evidence that’s going to have to be collected," Barton told the Odessa American. "It may be weeks before we get the entire story as far as how many rounds he fired."