First Responders

Texas Town Mourns SWAT Commander Killed in Deadly Shootout

July 20, 2021Joshua Skovlund
sergeant joshua bartlett

Sgt. Joshua Bartlett’s body is escorted to the medical examiner’s office Thursday evening. Screengrab courtesy of YouTube.

A Texas community is mourning the loss of a sheriff’s deputy killed in a shootout Thursday. Four officers were shot by a man who tried to provoke a confrontation with police earlier in the day. After an extended standoff at the man’s home, he opened fire on officers, killing Sgt. Joshua Bartlett, the commander of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. Bartlett was transported to a local hospital, where he died. 

Bartlett will be laid to rest Friday at 10 a.m., according to an LCSO Facebook post. A large crowd gathered with American flags as a procession carried Bartlett’s body from the hospital. Local news outlet Everything Lubbock reported that flags are at half-staff around the small town. A memorial run was also planned. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Bartlett was also a US Army veteran.

The incident began when one of the gunman’s neighbors called police after witnessing the man walking around his house with a large gun, according to Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia. When police arrived, they found a white Chevy pickup truck that Texas State Troopers had been searching for after its driver had “appeared to be trying to bait” a trooper into some type of confrontation.

When police approached, Omar Soto Chavira, 22, retreated into his house, prompting police to call the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. Police tried to negotiate with Chavira, but he fired on officers, striking four of them. 

Bartlett was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Three other officers were shot, with one still in critical condition Monday, according to Garcia.

Chavira eventually surrendered to police after a 10-hour standoff, during which police punched holes in the walls and launched tear gas into the home. Garcia said Chavira had been wounded in the standoff but did not specify whether he had been shot.

Read Next: Texas National Guard Soldiers Held at Gunpoint in ‘Crazy’ Incident

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
US Speeds Up Abrams Tank Delivery to Ukraine War Zone

The original plan was to send Ukraine 31 of the newer M1A2 Abrams, which could have taken a year or ...

March 21, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
US: War Crimes on All Sides in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has determined all sides in the brutal conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

March 20, 2023Associated Press
military pilots cancer rates
Higher Cancer Rates Found in Military Pilots, Ground Crews

In its yearlong study of almost 900,000 service members who flew on or worked on military aircraft b...

March 20, 2023Associated Press
whiskey pour
Veterans Lead the Way Among America’s Growing Craft Distilleries

American veterans are taking the lessons they learned in the military and changing the craft distilling industry.

March 20, 2023Mac Caltrider
military suicide veteran suicide
Military Moves To Cut Suicides, But Defers Action on Guns

In a memo released Thursday, Austin called for the establishment of a suicide prevention working gro...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
us military drills japan-south korea
US, Partners Stage Military Drills Amid Japan-South Korea Talks

The Sea Dragon 23 exercises that started on Wednesday will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-fl...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
leo jenkins a word like god
‘A Word Like God’: New Book From Army Ranger Leo Jenkins

In his latest poetry collection, Ranger-turned-writer Leo Jenkins turns away from war to explore cosmic themes of faith, fatherhood, and art.

March 16, 2023Mac Caltrider
us drone
Pentagon Video Shows Russian Jet Dumping Fuel on US Drone

The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a ...

March 16, 2023Associated Press
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved