Audio Tapes Released of Caldwell Deadly Shooting

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The Caldwell Police Department has released the audio tapes of the conversation between police dispatch and the officers involved in last Tuesday's shootout. The tapes give an even closer look at what happened behind the scenes.

You can hear officers on the scene saying, "shots fired, the suspect is down." The officer then goes on to say, "give me an ambulance, I do have the weapon in custody."

Police say it all started when Louis Avrin, 36, of Caldwell allegedly robbed the Brookshire Brothers grocery store at gunpoint. According to police, Avrin pointed a gun at several employees, saying he had 16 bullets and would fire them if he didn't get what he wanted. Police say he got away with $5,000 in cash.

Officials say Avrin then walked out of the store and car-jacked a woman at gunpoint. He then allegedly took police on a high-speed chase.

Caldwell Police Officer Cougan Hignight was called to the scene and quickly found himself in a high speed pursuit. Caldwell Police Chief Paul Lilly soon joined in the chase.

Avrin eventually crashed the stolen vehicle into a tree then fired, hitting Officer Hignight in the arm.

Highnight then fired back 10 times, Lilly fired four. Avrin was shot three times, one bullet skimmed his face and nose, one hit him in the hip, the third shot hit his neck and offered a fatal blow.

Officer Hignight was rushed to the hospital by an off-duty officer who stopped to help. Chief Lilly made sure the suspect didn't fire again.

We're told the shootout could have been worse. After Avrin fired once, he accidentally released the clip of his gun, dropping 15 live rounds on the ground.

It's unclear what officer fired the fatal shot. Police tell us both men had the same caliber gun and the same ammunition, making it virtually impossible to tell.

The dash cam video was shown to a Burleson County grand jury Wednesday. The jury found that the video justified the officer's actions. Both Officer Hignight and Chief Lilly were cleared of all wrong-doing.

It is not very often here in the Brazos Valley we're able to show you video like this. These tapes were made available to News 3 because the Caldwell Police Department wanted the public to see last week's fatal shooting was clearly justified.

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