The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Antigovernment Texan Allegedly Shoots Deputies

By Heidi Beirich on September 20, 2010 - 4:48 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime

A reclusive West Odessa, Texas, man with ties to an antigovernment group allegedly shot and wounded two Ector County sheriff’s deputies and a private citizen on Friday during a 22-hour long standoff at his home. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the shooter, Victor Dewayne White, has connections to white supremacist organizations and links to the antigovernment Republic of Texas (ROT), which claims that Texas is a sovereign nation that was never legally annexed by the United States.

This is certainly not the first time that someone with ROT ties has engaged in an armed standoff. In 1997, the then-head of ROT, Richard McLaren, initiated a six-day standoff with hundreds of Texas Rangers after his followers kidnapped a neighbor couple at gunpoint. One man was killed in the ensuing gun battle and McLaren was ultimately sentenced to 111 years in prison for his role.

Another longtime ROT supporter, John Joe Gray, has been holed up on his property near Trinadad, Texas, for the past decade. Gray’s standoff was precipitated by an arrest during a traffic stop in 1999 for biting a Texas trooper’s hand and trying to steal another trooper’s gun. After posting bail in the case, Gray retreated to his compound and sent a letter to the authorities, the gist of which was, if your deputies come onto my property, bring body bags.

The standoff began Friday afternoon after Luke Bedrick, who works for an oil company, went to White’s property with Deputy Ricky Tijerina and Sgt. Steve McNeil. Bedrick was there to access an oil well that the company owns rights to. White began firing and struck all three men, who nevertheless managed to retreat.

Before moving to a fortified position, White climbed inside a sheriff’s vehicle and began to taunt officers. “He got on the radio and basically was spouting off things about the deputies and law enforcement, making political and religious statements and making comments urging the snipers to make him a martyr,” DPS spokesman John Barton told the Odessa American.

During the nearly day-long standoff, White sporadically opened fire on law enforcement helicopters and officers from a large dirt mound that contained trenches, bunkers and fighting positions. The dirt barricade, which had a white cross and flagpole on top, was built near the trailer where White lived with no utility connections on a piece of property that covers several acres.

White surrendered as SWAT team members in an armored vehicle closed in on him outside his trailer. White was booked at the Midland County jail for aggravated assault against a public servant. The two deputies who were injured Friday were listed in stable condition at a local hospital. Bedrick, the third shooting victim, was treated and released Friday evening, hospital officials said.

  • beholder

    It’s easy to get mad at Texas.

    Our students are not allowed to study anything but what they’re told to read by the State Board of Education, which says the Civil Rights movement is given too much credence, and there should more about the positive impact of minority role models such as Famous Amos and Bill Cosby, who feed and entertain the white man.

    Do you really expect us to stop producing citizens like these when our public school textbooks are laced with the heavy hand of right wing indoctrination?

  • Javy

    I would not say most minorities are liberal or democratic. My father is far from it, in fact a good number if not most recent immigrants will vote for whatever suites their well being. I tell you in the past democrats, according to my father, do not support foreign aid. I dunno for sure but Republicans tried to do everything, though extract in return, to help foreign nations gain an independence. My dad is a strong Republican even though he is a minority.

  • Allen

    Geez! Why does it always have to be my home state of Texas! How embarrassing!

  • JoeBuddha

    I seem to recall an outcry when a report was released talking about conservative terrorists. When they start to appear? Nothing but crickets.

  • skinnyminny

    Shadow Wolf,
    I agree with you. I was just wondering, since Texas does have capital punishment-executions, and he did endanger the lives of law enforcement, why should he sit and rot at taxpayers expense! In addition, people like this usually recruit others into their cause.

    How are things going in ‘Aryan-zona?’ I’ve read that Arpaio threatens to ‘unlease J.T. style vigilantes.’

    And with McCain, what can I say. I guess that’s why I went a little wild on the last posts about the tea party. I have a problem with them being vocal that they “HATE LIBERALS.” My problem with this, if they are an elected official, are they going to address the needs of their liberal constituents? Is this an exclusive club of conservatives, and forget everyone else? We know that most minorities are Liberals/Democrats. If a person went to apply for a law enforcement job and was open and vocal about hating blacks or latinos, should they be able to get this job that service the minority community?

  • Shadow Wolf

    Good point about the “moderate conservative”comment.
    Old man John McCan’t(be Prez) was always touted as a moderate for years. But in recent times, has been flirting with extremist leanings. Such as backing Jan Brewer, and blocking the DREAM Act, et al.

    I am beginning to wonder the same things, if moderates actually exist these days. Obama was through out much of this year was seen as somewhat of a moderate conservative, on issues such as Immigration, foreign policies and such. Rather than a traditional “Liberal”.

    As for Justice, I thought that being sentenced to 111 years as a ROT member, is Justice being served. If they could do the same to other members. As they did for McLaren. But yeah, there’s still double-standards in the White man’s law, when it comes to Justice being thrown in the face of another KKKrimnal White man. That would be a backstab to those sworn to uphold the law.

    If we can only see this kind of Justice in Mari-kafka County, where the local Sheriffs are the real outlaws and those very same “anti-governments” loons support them. Somethings gotta give.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    What we will never see is people asking in the mainstream media- “Is there such thing as a normal, moderate conservative? Or is extremism inherent in conservatism?” That’s white privilege.

  • skinnyminny

    I doubt it, if anyone has seen the documentary ‘My Trip to Al Quaeda.” In this, Osama bin Laden allegedly said that once he attack, America would never be the same again,” and something to the effect of Americans would strip away liberties, fighting amongst ourselves…
    In essence, Osama won! I don’t think the crazies are out to lunch, I think they fell into the abyss.

  • skinnyminny

    You are 100% right. I wrote a week or so back, that the justice system in this country is unfair. We have two, actually. One for minorities and one for whites. I believe this is the problem. Whites rarely serve time in this country, as well, they rarely serve time in foreign countries. A perfect example is the guy from Palos Verdes, Califas (California) suspected of killing his Brazilian wife in Mexico. Somehow he fled the Mexico without his passport and made it back to Califas. Mexico wants him back, he refuses to go back. He’s now living as if everything is fine.
    Yet, imagine this was a black guy. The city would have come to a grinding halt. All black men (regardless if description matched or not, to them all blacks look alike), would have been stopped/detained and possibly beaten or shot, regardless of the APB giving as good a description as possible. So, if the APB said the man was 6’0″ – 6’5″ the police would still pull over guys 4’11” – 5’2″

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Gee, imagine the fall-out if a Muslim had done something like this. When Hasan Nidal(or whatever his name was) shot those people at Ft. Hood, suddenly we had to have yet another round of terrorism talk, Muslim-bashing, and fear-mongering. But when a white right-winger does it, it’s just a lone nut and we don’t need to consider where he got his ideas.

  • skinnyminny

    well, I’ll be dang! I should be able to rest my case – the tea party keep reminding us that they want to water the tree of liberty with blood, lock and reload. Wow! These are the people who want to be voted into office. Wow! If this is the stuff they’d do to law enforcement, imagine what they will do to us! One guy already said they will walk the streets of every neighborhood – if this is not enough the get the Democrats enthusiastic, I don’t know what will.