LPD Chief: Shooter in Tuesday SWAT standoff attempted 'suicide by cop'

LPD Chief: Shooter in Tuesday SWAT standoff attempted 'suicide by cop'
(Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We're getting new insight into what happened during the SWAT standoff in Northeast Lubbock on Tuesday, after a Wednesday morning news conference with Lubbock police.

Police say 50-year-old Rodney Breeden shot at a city of Lubbock trash truck and then at SWAT officers who were trying to negotiate with him.

LPD Police Chief Greg Stevens says Breeden was looking to make "a big production" out of the situation and that it appears he was dealing with some very difficult issues.

Police responded to a report of shots fired at a city trash truck in the alley south of the 1100 block of East Quinn Street around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

A shot was fired and came through the driver's side window.

The driver, Juan Rivera, was not hit by the bullet, but police say it barely missed him and he was injured by the shattered glass.

He was treated and released from UMC with minor injuries.

Rivera immediately called police. Officers responded to the area and began working out where the shot was fired from.

Officers believe the shot came from the home at 1112 East Quinn. Rodney Breeden was inside the home. Police say his intent was to commit suicide by a cop.

"His intention for the day was to force us to take his life," Chief Stevens said.

Police then expanded their SWAT callout and brought in more personnel to try and prevent that from happening.

When they are involved in these types of situations, police say they look for ways to try and disengage, but because Breeden had fired at the city employee, police say that was not an option.

"Disengaging was not an option. We have to stay engaged and we have to eventually take the individual into custody," Stevens said.

Officers tried several times to reach Breeden peacefully.

They used tear gas and tried talking with him through the PA system but were unsuccessful.

The SWAT vehicle, called the BEAR, was eventually able to breach the front door, but Breeden immediately fired at the vehicle, hitting it five times with 11 first responders inside, including two firefighter paramedics.

"It's a very serious crime to fire a firearm at these individuals," Stevens said. "Several times he fired on the vehicle again as we backed off and waited, trying to negotiate a surrender."

Police used a robot to deploy tear gas at the front door, causing Breeden to crawl to the front, but they say Breeden still appeared to be volatile, forcing police to fire at him.

"He had the gun in his hand, was clearly going to fire it again. Two SWAT officers did fire their weapons at him," Stevens said.

Police say Breeden was shot multiple times and was immediately treated by tactical paramedics.

"Very volatile, very violent and they went to work right away in harm's way and preformed those measures," Stevens said.

Chief  Stevens says he is proud of how his officers handled the situation.

"You have police officers that are being fired upon and they don't immediately return fire. That's remarkable and I'm proud of them for that."

Per protocol, the two officers that fired at Breeden have been placed on administrative leave.

Stevens has assigned a firearms review board to review everything that took place on Tuesday.

Breeden remains in critical condition as of Wednesday night.

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