Accused Levelland shooter charged with capital murder

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 12:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The dust has settled on a SWAT standoff in Levelland, with an investigation now underway. 10th Street and Ave. J was reopened around 9 p.m. Friday, after investigators completed gathering evidence in the area where Lubbock County Sheriff’s Sergeant Josh Bartlett was killed in the line of duty.

22-year-old Omar Soto-Chavira was treated for his injuries at a Lubbock hospital after he was captured Thursday night, following an hours-long standoff with at least eight different law enforcement agencies. His condition is unknown at this time.

Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia says Soto-Chavira will be charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Law enforcement confirmed to KCBD on Tuesday, Soto-Chavira was served a capital murder charge in the hospital.

Omar Soto-Chavira, 22
Omar Soto-Chavira, 22(Hockley County Sheriff's Office)

According to law enforcement, State Troopers had already had an encounter with Soto-Chavira earlier that day . A State Trooper reported trying to be baited by the suspect during a traffic stop. It wasn’t until later that afternoon a neighbor called and said Soto-Chavira had a gun and was acting strange.

Previous coverage and a timeline of events in the hours-long standoff can be found here: Deadly standoff ends in Levelland, suspect in custody with injuries

As of Friday morning, Levelland Police Sergeant Shawn Wilson is in stable but critical condition. Three other officers were treated for their injuries at the hospital and released.

We’re told Texas Rangers are heading the investigation, but it’s unclear how long law enforcement will be posted at the scene.

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