Lubbock SWAT Team Did All They Could Do - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/24/03

Lubbock SWAT Team Did All They Could Do

Friday's tragedy comes more than two years after another fatal standoff. One that resulted in the death of a Lubbock police officer. That incident forced the police department to take a closer look at their SWAT policies, did it not? Yes it did. As we're about to show you, you'll see the difference between the two incidents.

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Remember, Lubbock police officer, Kevin Cox was accidentally killed from friendly fire. In that situation, police thought gunshots were coming from inside, when actually, SWAT officers were firing at each other. "Ultimately, if a criminal suspect is hell bent on killing someone, and or killing himself, there's really no way you can stop him," said Tom Martin, City Councilman, and former Police Chief in San Marcos, and Grapevine, Texas.

A Friday SWAT operation turned deadly. Two people dead after 15 hours of police negotiations. SWAT officers could be seen standing by, not showing any kind of force. "Jason, would you please come out and talk to me? Michelle, are you still okay?," said one negotiator on Friday.

Police chief Claude Jones says the SWAT members main concern was to end it peacefully. "I think patrol, the SWAT and negotiators did a very good job," he told NewsChannel 11 on Monday.

Martin, a 24-year veteran of law enforcement, says he doesn't know what more the SWAT team could have done. "You certainly don't want to arrive on the scene, secure the area and go in, guns a blazin' because then it's the police putting the hostage in a fatal position."

Two years ago, during a botched SWAT operation, Sergeant Kevin Cox was killed from friendly fire. It forced the department to review it's tactical procedures. "Many of the officers at the scene were not trained. They had never qualified with their weapons. They had so much man power on the scene that when that shot was fired by the sniper, everyone started pumping lead into the place," Martin said.

Martin says Friday's ordeal was handled much differently. "You saw methodical, restrained, very professional operation trying every way in the world to have a peaceful resolution," said Martin.

He says this sensitive situation was handled in a very sensitive manner. Unfortunately, it did not end peacefully, as they had hoped.

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