DALLAS – 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, Texas, 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.
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 taunted officers.
“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 the trailer in some kind of property dispute, was treated and released, hospital officials said.
Barton said White has 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 standoff lasted overnight, and the suspect continued shooting at a police helicopter Saturday morning, sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Duesler said.
There were 100 to 150 officers at the scene, “from the FBI all the way down to the dogcatcher,” he said.