Texas City police standoff ends with murder suspect dead

Texas City police were trying to arrest the man for murder, but they say he hanged himself
January 15, 2014 3:35:01 PM PST
The search for a murder suspect led to a hostage situation and a standoff that ended with a man's death. Officers had zeroed in on an apartment in Texas City Wednesday morning. That's when the standoff began at an apartment complex near FM 2004 and the Gulf Freeway.

The Galveston County Violent Offenders Task Force surrounded apartment 1613 before 10am, looking for a man wanted in connection with the murder of Jesus Leal Valdez. His body was discovered buried beneath a chicken coop in northwest Harris County last weekend. Law enforcement evacuated nearby apartments before trying to arrest the suspect.

For more than two hours, authorities attempted to talk the suspect out. At first they believed he might have a hostage.

Residents watched as officers entered with guns drawn. You could hear several small explosions -- flash grenades meant to flush out a suspect. Officials went inside, and moments later they carried a man out. They rushed him to EMS but he was already dead.

"We found him hanging inside the closet," said Captain Joe Stanton with the Texas City Police Department. "I'm not quite sure what it was around his neck."

There was a woman inside the apartment at the time. Investigators will not tell us who she is or what connection she might have, if any, to the murder. At first investigators say they believed her to be a hostage. Now police say she is wanted for credit card abuse.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the Valdez murder, would not field any questions about that case today. They would not say how they might have linked the man who killed himself to that murder.

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