Two Texas sheriff’s deputies sustained injuries in a gun battle with a man who barricaded himself in a house rigged with propane tanks. The man remains inside the home and has allegedly engaged with deputies in multiple gun battles.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office SWAT deputies have the house of a 60-year-old man surrounded as the standoff continues. Officials say the man opened fire on deputies on at least three occasions and has rigged his house with propane tanks, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The home is located on the outskirts of San Antonio in far north Bexar County.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters the man has fired shots at the propane tanks in an attempt to cause an explosion.
“It’s a pretty dangerous situation,” the sheriff told reporters. “We do have it contained for now. We’ve got plenty of assets on scene, and we’re prepared to settle in for the long haul.”
The standoff began at about 7 p.m. on Tuesday when deputies arrived to serve a mental health warrant and conduct a welfare check on his elderly mother who is reportedly living with the suspect. Family members told police the mother is in declining health.
“The relatives were worried,” Salazar said. “They had not seen this elderly lady in quite some time. There was some concern for her health and well being.”
The deputies who were first on the scene entered the home and were met by gunfire. Fortunately, a ballistic shield protected the deputies and they quickly retreated to safety. These deputies did not sustain any injuries, the local newspaper reported.
The deputies called SWAT to the scene and established a permit around the home. Local residents were asked to shelter in place.
After a few hours of silence, the man emerged from the home and fired on the deputies. The deputies shielded themselves and no one was hit.
SWAT deputies made the decision to attempt to enter the home to determine the condition of the woman suspected of being inside. As the team entered, the suspect again opened fire. The deputies exchanged fire and retreated to safety. At this point, the deputies noticed the propane canisters staged at multiple locations inside the house. Deputies observed the man firing at the canisters in an attempt to explode them.
Two SWAT team members sustained injuries during the gun battle. Officials did not say if they were shot or if they sustained some other type of injury.
One of the deputies remained at the scene while an ambulance transported the other to a local hospital. His condition has not been reported.
Deputies have not been able to make contact with the suspect or his elderly mother. Her location and current condition are unknown, the sheriff stated.
Officials called a bomb squad team to the scene to deal with the propane tanks when the standoff ends.
“At this point, negotiations with him have failed,” Sheriff Salazar stated. “We’ve made hundreds of attempts to make contact with him, and there’s just no avail.”
“We have a plan,” he explained. “We will wait.”