WEST ODESSA -- Shortly after 2pm Big 2 received word that the second suspect in the West Odessa Standoff, the man accused of starting the whole thing, has surrendered for medical attention.
Another person is now in custody. Their identity has not been released.
Ector County Sheriff Marc Donaldson says that the shooter was Victor White. He was burned when a fire broke out in his trailer home, and he surrendered to authorities. He is now being taken to the hospital for treatment, and will then be taken to the Midland County Detention Center because he is accused of shooting deputies in Ector County.
He could face Attempted Capital Murder of a Police Officer charges.
Just after 1:15pm Saturday there was a large explosion near the compound that law enforcement has been having a gunfight with. Now thick black smoke is pouring into the sky. It's not clear whether something exploded, or if this was the result of fire from law enforcement. The Ector County Sheriff's Office tells Big 2 that the fire was not started by police, and they believe it was started by the shooter.
Gunfire has picked up around noon Saturday, close to twenty hours after the first shots that sent three people to the hospital, and led to a lengthy standoff in Ector County between law enforcement and at least one shooter. Now Deputies are saying it's possible there are multiple shooters inside the trailer home.
Law enforcement is engaging the suspect, and are firing upon their position.. A tank is also on the scene to provide cover and assistance. Sgt. Gary Duesler says that they are "shooting to win."
At least one gunman was firing back at them. We are told that helicopters that have been keeping an eye on the situation are now firing upon the shooters as well.
The bomb squad has moved into position, and crews say there are multiple helicopters in the air.
Deputies say Victor White first fired shots around University and Flamingo in Ector County at 4pm Friday. The shooter was driving around in a Toyota Tundra, firing more shots, but eventually fortified himself in a stationary location.
Two Ector County deputies, Ricky Tijernina. and Sgt. Steve McNeil were shot along with along with one more victim, Luke Bedrick. They were taken to the hospital.
McNeil was shot once, while Tijerinina was shot twice--once in the neck and once in the shoulder. Both deputies are conscious and should recover well.
Bedrick has since been discharged from the hospital.
Odessa Police say that they got a call Friday afternoon about the three victims being shot. The shooter was still firing. The Odessa Police S.W.A.T team brought out their ROCK armored vehicle with the Crisis Intervention Unit and rushed to the scene.
OPD Cpl. Sherrie Carruth said in a statement that the ROCK was used to rescue the three shooting victims, and that the vehicle was repeatedly shot at during the operation. After that, the ROCK retreated and the victims were taken to Medical Center Hospital.
The suspect also started firing shots at a DPS helicopter.
A large area has been blocked off because of this ongoing operation, and some people have not been able to go home. Authorities urge everyone to stay away from the area.
A neighbor told Big 2 that the White was well-armed. He is known to fly a flag upside down outside his home, a signal that indicates distress. Sgt. Duesler also says White has a history of problems with law enforcement. One woman we spoke with, who asked that she remain anonymous, said she heard rumors that he might have landmines and booby-traps set up around the compound.
Armored vehicles have been seen going past the police barricades, preparing for a long stand-off. Law enforcement expect this to be a lengthy stand-off. Along with the Ector Co. Sheriff's Office, DPS troopers, FBI and Reeves Co. deputies are on the scene to help control the situation.
As the standoff has continued, relief officers have been brought in to replace officers that have been on the scene since the beginning. Slowly they have been replaced to keep the barricades in place, keeping the suspect from getting out.
Around 1:00 am Saturday Big 2 News crews saw what appeared to be a tank heading past the barricade towards the standoff location. Our photographer said this does not appear to be a police armored vehicle like the ROCK, and that it has a turret in the front--similar to tanks you would see on a military base.
Sgt. Duesler says that 16 areas have sent back equipment and personnel to help in this standoff, including Lubbock and Austin. We have also been told that there are six helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft surveilling the area in shifts
From here authorities are sweeping the compound, looking for booby-traps and underground tunnels. People are slowly being allowed back to their homes after being evacuated for nearly 24 hours.