Ellis County, TX - Italy Police Traffic Stop - 2 Brothers Steal Officer's Marked Tahoe - 1 Hour Chase - 2 Hour Standoff - 1 Brother Shoots Himself - 2nd Brother Pointed Rifle - Shot Dead

June 3, 2015


Two brothers in a stolen police SUV died early Wednesday morning after a standoff that closed Interstate 35E near Waxahachie and could be heard by numerous people on the Internet.

Law enforcement tells News 8 that one man committed suicide and the other was killed after pointing a police rifle at officers.

For more than two hours, deputies used the two-way police radio in the stolen cruiser to negotiate with the men inside.

The drama was heard live by nearly 1,000 people across the country who found the audio feed on the Internet.

The situation started about 10 p.m. Tuesday when an Italy police officer pulled over the brothers on the freeway. It's uncertain what happened during that traffic stop, but the brothers somehow commandeered the officer's Chevy Tahoe. The officer was not injured.

Ellis County Sheriff's Department deputies pursued the stolen Italy police SUV for almost an hour. Deputies even laid out spike strips to puncture the tires of the Tahoe.

The suspects finally stopped in the southbound lanes of I-35E near Forreston – just south of the Waxahachie city limits.

An Ellis County sheriff's negotiator then began speaking to the driver, who identified himself as "Miguel." He told the negotiator that he did not want to go back to jail. Miguel's brother, who identified himself as "Daniel," was also in the vehicle making demands.

Miguel told the negotiator that he was armed with a knife, but then conceded he only had a set of keys he found in the stolen police SUV.

At one point, Miguel asked for a phone to call a close friend, and then said he wanted to reach out to his mother. He told the negotiator that he and his mom had an estranged relationship that drove him to experiment with drugs in high school.

If the negotiator couldn't immediately provide a phone call, Miguel said, then he would take a cigarette to calm down.

But both suspects threatened suicide the entire time.

Within a few minutes, the situation deteriorated.

"Miguel are you still with me?" the negotiator asked on the two-way radio. "Miguel, are you still there, brother?"

"I'm getting out! I'm shooting you guys!" Miguel was heard yelling before using an expletive.

Immediately, there was a barrage of 10 to 20 gunshots, said News 8 photojournalist Josh Stephen who was at the scene.

Law enforcement told News 8 that it appeared one brother killed himself, and the other was shot dead by deputies or state troopers when he pointed a rifle at them. It is believed it was a police-issued rifle that he grabbed from the stolen police SUV.

No law enforcement officer was hurt.

The Texas Department of Transportation was called out to help reroute southbound traffic on I-35E. Those lanes were a crime scene, and were expected to be closed for hours as investigators gather evidence.

Northbound I-35 is also closed at State Highway 34 in Italy. Traffic is being rerouted and drivers should avoid the area if possible.