League City Police Department Telecommunicators Ayanna Meyers, Kristal Robinson, Jessica Wilkerson, and Lauren Belvin win the “2020 Texas APCO Telecommunicator Team of the Year” Award.
On March 13, 2020, this team was working their usual night shift. Approximately two hours into the shift, 911 lines began filling up with scared and confused callers reporting a male recklessly driving a truck on their street. They stated he had already hit several mailboxes and was trying to hit residents that were outside as well. Ayanna and Lauren began filtering through callers for any relevant information and were quickly able to obtain vehicle descriptors, a possible direction of travel, as well as a description of the driver. To make the situation even more suspicious… he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Kristal quickly dispatched officers. Although they arrived within a few minutes, the vehicle was no longer anywhere near the location. While officers began searching the area for the suspect vehicle, Lauren notified surrounding agencies so they could check their area as well. One of the patrol sergeants then advised he heard possible gunshots. Immediately after his radio transmission, 911 lines became inundated once more with callers advising of a vehicle in a ditch and the sound of gunfire, less than a mile and a half from the location of the original call. Without hesitation, officers were given the information over the radio and the primary patrol channel was held. Then, the dreaded phrase of “shots fired” came over the radio. The same male subject officers were looking for had parked his vehicle into the ditch and appeared to have lured officers to his location by gunfire. Using his vehicle as a shield, he then began firing shots at officers. Jessica then toned EMS and advised them to stage. The sergeant on scene requested our SWAT team respond and they were paged as quickly as possible. Dispatch was then advised by an officer that the gunfire had disabled one of their patrol vehicles, while he was still inside of it, and the vehicle was now leaking gas. Ayanna promptly toned the fire department and advised them to stage as well. Officers began yelling out that more shots had been fired, making it evident this had become a drawn-out gunfight. Per officer request, dispatch began notifying residents in surrounding homes to shelter in place if they were in the line of fire. While waiting for SWAT to arrive, dispatch was advised the subject was possibly shot, and although still moving, had laid himself flat on his back. Officers made the decision to quickly move up to the subject and were finally able to take him into custody.
We were so very thankful none of our officers were injured during this incident. While continuing to take additional calls for service, this team worked diligently and thoroughly as one cohesive unit to ensure no details were missed, and for that were also thankful for each other. Each nominee played a crucial role in this stressful incident. It is this type of teamwork that allows League City to be the accomplished place that it is. They are all assets to this department.