Elderly Woman Engaged in Stand-Off with Police - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/7/04

Elderly Woman Engaged in Stand-Off with Police

Just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, someone called Lubbock police to report they had seen a man lying on the ground at University Self Storage on 4th Street and Avenue T. Police responded to find the man had been shot and killed. Just minutes after, police themselves became the target of gunfire and a four and half hour stand-off followed.

Claude Jones, Lubbock's Police Chief says, "Our officers were conducting a preliminary search of the area. They were standing on either side of the door at one of the storage units and a gunshot was fired through the door just barely missing our officers."

Stand Off Raises Questions about Homeless Woman Involved in Shooting
Police are investigating two tragedies, the death of a would-be burglar and the homeless situation in Lubbock. The woman involved in the shooting lived in a storage unit and we found out today, it's not uncommon occurrence in Lubbock.

That's when police moved quickly to contain the area and the SWAT team was called in. About four hours later, police finally established contact with the person firing the gunshots from inside. That person was an elderly homeless woman. Police think she was upwards of 80-years-old. Chief Jones says, "We were able to talk that person out of the storage unit. She was armed with a long-gun rifle type weapon. We were able to talk the weapon out of her hands and able to take her into custody."

Police think it all started when the man who was shot tried to break into the elderly woman's storage unit, a unit she was living in and that's most likely why she shot him. He staggered away and fell down several feet away face down. He was wearing a ski mask and a crow bar was found near the storage unit door.

Fay Ralston - Hard Times on the Streets
Fay Ralston has been dealing with homelessness for 10 years.

All the commotion, police cars, SWAT teams, even an armored vehicle brought out plenty of curious neighbors. Those neighbors are scared now about safety where they live. Resident, Brian Felker, says "It's kind of an eye-opener. I didn't know this neighborhood was that bad, but apparently it is."

Jennifer Trevino says, "It's scary. We live in this neighborhood. My cousins go to Ramirez Elementary. We're always walking to the park and we never think anything could happen like this."

Parents of kids who go to Ramirez Elementary nearby never thought so either, but the flags were raised outside the school as with any other day. Parent, Jessica Boutwell, says, "We were just walking to school, any normal day and it's all blocked off down there and one of the kids said somebody had got killed."

Police brought the homeless woman in for questioning. Her name is Faye Ralston. They doubt charges will be brought against her. During the gunfire, she may not have realized she was actually shooting at police. The man she killed was 45-year-old Lino Torres.

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