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Idalou police arrest man who held National guardsmen transporting COVID-19 vaccines at gunpoint

Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A man is in jail this evening accused of holding up a national guard convoy with a pistol.

The guardsmen were transporting COVID-19 vaccines to Matador.

Idalou police say it started in Lubbock at the loves travel station on East Regis.

11 National Guard Soldiers transporting vaccines held at gunpoint in West Texas, suspect arrested

Investigators say that’s where Larry Harris, who’s from Arizona, began following the caravan of national guardsmen.

Idalou police chief Eric Williams says Harris made several attempts to run the vans off 62/82 until he pulled them over claiming to be a detective.

“They’re unarmed, they comply. They get out of the van. This guy is holding them at gunpoint and starts searching their van,” Williams said.

When police arrived, they learned what Harris was looking for.

“You know the question was asked whether or not he was after the COVID-19 vaccine. As far as we know, he was thinking that someone had been kidnapped.”

Harris told officers he believed the guardsmen in uniform had kidnapped a woman and child, so officers’ noted his mental state.

“He appeared to be mentally erratic,” Williams said.

Harris surrendered and now faces a laundry list of charges—including interference with Texas military forces, a misdemeanor.

“Maybe it’s used in other places in Texas where military bases are, I don’t know. But I would dare to say this is the first time it’s been used in Lubbock county,” Williams said.

Chief Williams says he’s thankful everyone is safe, and the vaccines reached their destination intact.

“I am amazed that this did not turn into a very bad situation because he was standing in the midst of these guardsman, with a loaded handgun. Plenty of ammunition to cause a lot of havoc and for whatever reason, he put the gun in the front of his pants when he saw officers arriving and officers were able to take him into custody without incident,” Williams said.

Among his charges, Harris faces aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

If convicted for that he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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