CSPD Officers Sharing Lessons Learned from Tragic Incident

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COLLEGE STATION -- On August 13, 2012 College Station police were faced with a unique and deadly situation.

"This happened in a neighborhood that we don't have problems in with a guy we don't have problems with," said CSPD Sgt. Travis Lacox.

Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice. The man receiving the notice, Thomas Caffall, continued firing from the doorway of the Fidelity Street home. He also took the life of Christopher Northcliffe and seriously injured Barbara Holdsworth.

"Barbara Holdsworth was pulling into here when she started taking rounds. You can see how far it is from that front porch to right here. And he's striking her. He hit her twice," said Lacox.

If anyone knows the details of that day, it's Sgt. Lacox and Investigator Andy Murph. They are the ones who stopped Caffall's deadly rampage.

The men had gone to lunch separately when they first heard the call go out.

"I arrived about a block east of that intersection. And once I got there my partner Travis Lacox arrived virtually at the same time and same spot," said Murph.

Their training and instincts kicked in as they made their way through the neighborhood.

"Crossing the street was a little hairy. We knew were going to be very much exposed," said Murph.

But they continued the trek and began firing their rounds at Caffall when they were about a block away.

"When we got to this street corner he saw us coming and tried to pull his rifle on us. I think I fired two more rounds from this street corner and Travis also engaged and that pretty much took the fight out of him," said Murph.

Caffall's death brought an end to the thirty minute standoff.

"For me, one of the big things was this was a horrible incident for not just the police department, not just Constable Bachmann's family directly but for this community," said Lacox.

Lacox and Murph combed through the evidence weeks later and wanted to ensure their department and others could learn from the tragedy.

"The details is where you begin to learn what you need to do better. And the things that went well. And things that didn't go so good," said Lacox.

They turned to the city's Public Communications Office where Mark Beal and Mike Neu spent more than three hundred hours creating an innovative training presentation. The Active Shooter Debrief combines things like dash cam video, 911 calls, and computer animation.

"It was an overview of what happened. And that's where those two coming in from the communications office were so essential because they were able to give an aerial view of what was happening. And then Andy and I are able to come in and really talk about the individual stuff that's going on." said Lacox.

More than four thousand officers from various agencies in Texas and beyond have listened to the presentation. It's one Lacox and Murph say they'll continue making to help save lives and remember those already lost.

"When we get to the conclusion of the presentation we talk about the victims and it chokes us up every single time. But at the same time, we are hoping that others can learn from what went well and what didn't. That's all we ask," said Murph.

The men are receiving positive feedback from those attending the presentation. Some agencies have already reportedly made changes like adding bullet proof vests in detective's offices and making sure officers have rifles while on duty.


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