Last Tuesday afternoon, a deadly end to a stand-off in Henderson County. The story began late Monday night. Around 11, Trindad police tried to pull over a swerving car. But the traffic stop turned into a high speed chase that ended when the suspect crashed his car in near-by Malakoff.
In the trunk of the car police found the body of 25-year-old Waylon James Nichols. Police arrested the driver 35-year-old Thomas Edgar McDonald, but the passenger, 32-year-old Mark Shannon Haller took off on foot into the woods.
It took all night, but police finally found Haller at a home off Highway 31. That's when a when a 6 hour stand-off began.
"I heard pow, pow, pow, pow pow, it was like a TV show," said Paula Rivas. It was across the street from her home that the standoff began to unfold early Thursday morning.
"The next thing you know," Paula said, "(law enforcement) just started converging from everywhere.
Gun shots were fired at law enforcement officers by Mark Shannon Haller, beginning the over 6 hour standoff. It all happened at the home of Frances Baker. She left for work around 5 am and said she had a funny feeling she was being watched.
"I had a weird feeling when I got into my car," said Frances Bakes. "When I got up here and to the road, I knew there was something going on. That's when I called him and told him to be careful."
The call was made to her husband, Clyde. Police say it was around 8 am that haller came to the Baker's house and asked Clyde to use the phone. Later Clyde notifed authorities Haller was inside his garage. For hours Frances was not sure if her husband was a hostage inside.
"It's terrible not knowing whether not knowing whether your family is okay or whether they're not okay," she said.
Haller was inside the home alone. It was about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon that the standoff came to a deadly end.
"Unfortunately it ended with a hail of bullets and the suspect was killed by police," said Lieutenant Pat McWilliams of the Henderson County Sheriff's Department. "There were shots fired both ways. No officers were injured."
Police say Haller fired his weapon first. "The subject was standing in the doorway apparently trying to stay cool, and his weapon fired," said Lieutenant McWilliams. "I'm not sure if at this point he was pointing it at anybody but his weapon fired and officers returned fire."
An investigation into the events leading up to the standoff is underway.
Story by Maya Golden, firstname.lastname@example.org