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Man holds 11 Nat’l Guard troops at gunpoint after trying to run them off the road

Image from Idalou Police Chief Eric Williams' dashcam of the arrest of suspect Larry Lee Harris, March 22, 2021. (Idalou Police Department/Released)
March 23, 2021

An Arizona man was arrested on Monday after holding at gunpoint 11 National Guard troops who were transporting coronavirus vaccines in west Texas.

Police in Idalou, Texas arrested suspect Larry Lee Harris, 66, of Willcox, Ariz., according to a statement provided to American Military News by the Idalou Police Department. Idalou Police Chief Eric C. Williams said Idalou Police were alerted around 7:50 a.m. on Monday that an armed suspect had stopped three vans being driven by National Guard troops transporting coronavirus vaccines.

Harris followed the vans from Love’s Travel Station to Highway 62/82 & Country Road 3600 and repeatedly tried to run the vans off the road as they drove towards the town of Matador.

Harris then reportedly turned his vehicle into oncoming traffic, exited his vehicle, and “pointed a gun at a National Guard soldier, identified himself as a detective, and demanded to search the vehicles.”

Harris told police he stopped the vans because he believed they were carrying a kidnapped woman and child.

Williams said, “Harris appeared to be mentally disturbed” adding, “This was a very dangerous situation since the suspect was standing in the midst of the unarmed Guardsman with a loaded weapon.”

Williams also said Harris had “plenty of ammunition to cause a lot of havoc.” According to KCBD, Harris had a loaded Colt 1911 pistol .45 Caliber, along with a spare magazine on his person and another loaded magazine in his truck.

No Guardsmen were injured during the incident and Harris was taken into custody by responding officers.

“For whatever reason, he put the gun in front of his pants when he saw officers arriving and officers were able to take him into custody without incident,” Williams told KCBD.

Harris was arrested and is being held in the Lubbock County Detention Center. He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint of 11 National Guard soldiers, unlawful carrying of a weapon, impersonating a Public Servant, and interference with Texas Military Forces. Williams said federal charges are also expected.

The Idalou Police Department is leading the investigation, with assistance from the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.

National Guard troops have been assisting with coronavirus vaccine distribution in Texas and throughout the country in recent weeks.

The Texas Department of the Military, which oversees the Texas National Guard, did not respond to an American Military News request for comment at the time this article was published.