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Officers kill Riesel man after five-hour standoff, exchange of gunfire

Officers kill Riesel man after five-hour standoff, exchange of gunfire


Officers shot and killed a Riesel man early Friday morning after a family disturbance call turned into a five-hour standoff and exchange of gunfire, officials said.

McLennan County Sheriff's Office Major Ricky Armstrong said William Earl Lane, who has a lengthy criminal record, was shot and killed after he fired at sheriff's deputies and Department of Public Safety troopers on at least two occasions during the standoff. 

William Earl Lane


Three deputies and three troopers returned fire about 5:30 a.m. Friday after the 46-year-old Lane shot at officers while hiding in a field behind his home in the 100 block of Don Lane, just north of the Riesel city limits, Armstrong said. 

Deputies were called to the home around 11:45 p.m. Thursday on a report of a domestic disturbance. Lane was not in the house when deputies arrived but learned he fled to a field behind his house, Armstrong said. 

Lane fired shots at the officers from the field about 2 a.m., he said. DPS troopers responded to the call and the sheriff's office SWAT team was called in after the first round of shots were fired. 

Lane remained in the field until about 5:30 a.m., when he fired a second volley of shots at the officers, Armstrong said. Three deputies and three troopers returned fire, killing Lane, he said. 

Deputies were able to get Lane's wife and two children, ages 11 and 12, out of the house to safety during the standoff, Armstrong said. They were no injured and no officers were injured during the incident.

Armstrong said Texas Rangers were on the scene Friday morning and their investigation is ongoing.  

Longtime Riesel Police Chief Danny Krumnow said that although Lane's house was outside the Riesel city limits, he was well-known to his officers and those of the sheriff's office, who answered frequent disturbance or reports of weapons calls at his residence. 

Krumnow said officers have responded to calls so often at Lane's house that it likely was "flagged" in police records as a warning to approaching officers. 

"I don't know for sure if his house was flagged, but if it was, it very likely could have saved those officers lives," Krumnow said. 

According to county records, Lane has felony convictions for deadly conduct and felony DWI. He has misdemeanor convictions for terroristic threat, family violence, assault, unlawfully carrying a weapon, DWI and driving while license invalid.   

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