BY ROBERT MORALES
Theodore Lee Jr, 42, from Petersburg, Indiana, shot himself in front of local law enforcement officials after being served with a warrant for arrest at a house located at Fourth and Houston Streets last Friday.
The incident began around 12:30 p.m. after Sheriff Oscar Carrillo and his deputies arrived at 401 Houston to arrest Mr. Lee on a probation violation issed by the Pikes County Sheriffâ€™s Office in Indiana.
The warrant is known as a “Motion to Revoke,â€ according to Pikes County law enforcement officials. The official said that Mr. Lee had violated his probation for a robbery dating back to the 1990s.
In addition, Pikes County officials confirmed that Mr. Lee was under investigation for a sex crime in the adjoining county, Daviess County.
In an interview with the Advocate, Mr. Carrillo said he had spoken with the Pikes County Sheriff in Petersburg, and that it was very likely that Mr. Lee fled Indiana because of the impending sex charge.
Mr. Lee arrived in the area approximately two months ago and had befriended a few locals.
“Van Horn is not the place to hide,â€ said Mr. Carrillo. “This is a small town, and people will immediately take notice of persons who are not from here.â€
After arriving at 401 Houston last Friday, Mr. Carrillo said that it quickly became an “armed stand-offâ€ between Mr. Lee, Mr. Carrillo and the deputies. The situation could have taken a much more sinister twist if Mr. Lee had decided to shoot any or all of the local officers in front of him.
Instead, Mr. Lee grabbed his gun and shot himself in the head. EMS pronounced him dead a few minutes later.
Mr. Lee had driven to West Texas from Indiana in a Ford Mustang with stolen tags. Mr. Carrillo said his first stop was at the Plateau Station.
“Weâ€™re a very open, very trusting community, and thatâ€™s something that weâ€™re known for, â€ said Mr. Carrillo. “Weâ€™re used to sometimes leaving our doors unlocked. We are also very good about helping others who need our help, but unfortunately, we donâ€™t always know their background.â€
Mr. Carrillo said that local citizens should be more vigilant about people who arrive to the area with no good reason, such as coming here for a new job.
“We donâ€™t want to change who we are; we just need to be careful.â€