Levelland Police were called to a residence in the 100 Block of Holly street Monday afternoon at just after 12 noon. The first officer on the scene discovered a 33 year old suicidal subject barricaded in the home. He called for backup and immediately got the suspects wife and 2 year old child which was able to escape the residence before police arrived, to safety.
The police reported that the Levelland Police Department had at least 12 officers on the scene. The hostage negotiator, Sgt. Craig Hancock negotiated with the subject by phone for nearly 3 hours. Police were able to find out that the suspect, 34 year old Shawn Slaughter has a military background and was a combat engineer in the middle east. He had only been in Levelland for approximately a week before the incident Monday. His wife told authorities he has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and did suffer a brain injury while serving in the middle east.
Police report that as part of the negotiation, our negotiator along with friends of the suspect who also have law enforcement background kept an open phone line of communication. Officers report at approximately 2:50pm they heard one shot from a weapon inside the home. Officers at that point fired 10 rounds of tear gas into the home at various points in the home. At approximately 3pm, Slaughter exited the home with his hands up and surrendered to authorities without incident. He was placed under arrest and is charged with deadly conduct, unlawful restraint, endangering a child, terroristic threat and sexual assault.
Police chief Toney Cowan said, “our officers did an excellent job.” He also noted at the same time this was going on officers also had another attempted suicide call, traffic accident and a call about a man with a knife. Levelland was forced to call the next shift in to work early along with several off duty officers being called in to assist.
This case remains under investigation and Slaughter remains in jail. The Veterans Administration Hospital in Amarillo was contacted and are expected to send representatives to Levelland today.