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Gunman Cuts Off Caravan Of National Guardsmen, Holds Unarmed Troops At Gunpoint

Idalou, TX – An Arizona man posing as a police detective held a caravan of unarmed National Guard soldiers at gunpoint as the troops were transporting coronavirus vaccines through a section of northern Texas on Monday morning.

“I was very thankful that it did not turn into major bloodshed,” Idalou Police Chief Eric Williams later told KAMC. “He’s got a loaded pistol, he had an extra magazine on his person, another magazine and some ammunition in his truck and we’re very thankful that he didn’t start shooting them.”

The harrowing encounter occurred as the 11 unarmed guardsmen were traveling through Idalou to Matador at about 7 a.m. on March 22, KAMC reported.

For some reason, 66-year-old Larry Harris believed the troops had kidnapped a woman and a child, so he pulled in behind the caravan as it left a Love’s gas station in Lubbock, Chief Williams said.

Harris allegedly tried to run the vehicles off of the roadway multiple times over the course of the next 10 miles, KCBD reported.

The suspect ultimately made a U-turn in the middle of the highway, forcing the caravan to a halt, according to the chief.

He then jumped out of his vehicle and pointed a gun at the uniformed troops, claiming to be a police detective, and demanded to search their vehicles, KAMC reported.

“He had followed them all the way down the highway, through Idalou, had pointed the gun at them, forced them off the road,” Chief Williams said, noting that the suspect never showed any badge or credentials.

“This man was in the midst, within arm’s length of all those National Guardsmen — and they’re unarmed,” he added.

The troops dialed 911 and law enforcement officers immediately responded to the scene, KAMC reported.

Harris was taken into custody without anyone being injured.

He was allegedly in possession of a loaded Colt 1911 .45-caliber handgun and an extra loaded magazine at the time of his arrest, KCBD reported.

Harris had another loaded magazine in his truck, according to police.

Investigators said they believe the gunman was suffering from mental health issues at the time of the incident, KAMC reported.

He has since been charged with interfering with military forces, impersonating a public servant, and aggravated assault.

Federal investigators are also looking into the case, according to Chief Williams.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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