The Lufkin Police Department arrested Mikel Doyle, 35, of Lufkin, on a charge of deadly conduct after LPD received reports of shots fired in the 400 block of Augusta Drive in Crown Colony Sunday.
According to Lufkin Police Chief Gerald Williamson, the incident started with a family dispute and the fact that Doyle is estranged from his wife.
Around 2:30 p.m., a neighbor reported hearing six shots fired from a home in the 400 block of Augusta Drive. After speaking with a family member, officers learned that Doyle allegedly fired shots from a window and that he was possibly coming off a drug binge following domestic trouble, according to an LPD press release. The family member, who immediately evacuated the home, leaving Doyle by himself, said that Doyle had also threatened to shoot officers arriving on the scene.
The Special Response Team, including two hostage negotiators and the department’s certified drone pilots, attempted for several hours to establish negotiations. At one point, Doyle told officers that he was not afraid and would not surrender without a fight, according to scanner traffic.
“We evacuated a few neighboring houses, shut down all traffic on the golf course and in the area,” Lufkin Police Public Relations Specialist Jessica Pebsworth said. “Our drone pilots notified Angelina County Airport management of our intent to use the drones at this scene. We were then able to get them in the air to establish an aerial view of our perimeter, which is huge in terms of officer safety.”
At 5:49 p.m., Doyle began communicating with negotiators, and within 30 minutes he was taken into custody after surrendering peacefully.
Williams said authorities maintained control of the scene long enough to complete a thorough search before allowing the public back into the area.
The Lufkin Fire Department, the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety personnel, as well as the emergency response team and negotiators responded to the scene, according to Jeff Taylor, who lives in the neighborhood and in the area during the incident.
Taylor and his wife, Cindy, were driving down Augusta Drive when they stopped near the intersection of Augusta and Cascade Court about 50 seconds after LPD arrived.
“There were two police vehicles, and they were getting out with their rifles running toward where this guy had been seen,” Taylor said. “These guys were on a dead run. They were up against trees and on the edge of the property.”
Another police vehicle came up behind them, and Taylor inquired as to how he could help and was told to stop the public from entering Augusta for safety reasons.
He said he saw at least four DPS cars show up within minutes, and more cars kept filing in.
“They were calling off-duty LPD people all afternoon,” he said. “There were so many officers there, and we only saw that one side of the road, near the intersection of Augusta and Cascade,” Taylor said. “Friends were telling us how many other vehicles and officers were by the country club and the other side. Angelina County law enforcement showed up in force to protect hundreds of people. Our PD today were absolutely phenomenal.”
He said officers kept two different drones in the air for most of the time.
“I asked our police chief — an outstanding police chief — what he could see with the drones,” Taylor said. “He told me, ‘We can look inside the house in this drone and can see in through the windows.’ He was unbelievable. We were talking to everybody and praying for everyone. My wife sent about 50 prayers out this afternoon.”
Cindy said she saw negotiators running up and down the street, communicating information to each other, which went on for over three hours.
“They were wonderful,” she said. “At one point, they told the man that they knew he had a very difficult situation. They called him by name and said, ‘We know your age and that your are too young to let an event like this change your life.’ I thought they handled it so well. I felt very comforted by knowing they put their best forward and the manpower and technology they used to bring it to a peaceful resolve.”
Taylor agreed, saying the situation could have taken a much darker turn.
“If that guy had gotten loose in their neighborhood, with golfers and children everywhere, there is no telling what kind of damage he could have done,” he said. “But it was OK. We had everything that Lufkin could throw at somebody to protect everybody and keep everybody calm. Our local law enforcement did an outstanding job. I am so proud of those guys and ladies today.”
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