Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Trojan Horse: Inside the ATF Raid at Waco, Texas

The Battle Begins

Just ahead of me, Houston Special Response Team (SRT) member Eric Evers made it to the west side of the compound before a bullet toppled him into a muddy ditch. Evers was a big man, with a walrus mustache and a good sense of humor. Throughout training, he'd worn a floppy hat in the shape of a moose head.

The Davidians had been doing a lot of excavation work — digging bunkers, burying school buses — and had their own bulldozer. It sat 25 feet from the southwest corner of the compound. By the time I spotted it, there were already a half-dozen agents crouched behind the hulking steel beast. It looked like the most solid, most bulletproof thing around, so that's where I headed.

Bullets buzzed through the air like angry hornets.

Halfway to the bulldozer, I saw a man on the west side of the building firing a rifle. I threw my own rifle to my shoulder and snapped off a couple of shots at him. I don't know if I hit him or not, but I really hoped I did.

McKeehan & Black Hawk helicopter
McKeehan & Black Hawk helicopter

The three borrowed helicopters, two OH-58 Kiowas and a UH-60 Black Hawk, began their diversionary run over the compound as the cattle trailers bounced up the soggy driveway. Onboard were National Guard pilots and ATF agents. The two Kiowas swept in at 500 feet, while the bigger, heavier Black Hawk trailed slightly lower.

©2003 Chuck Hustmyre. All Rights Reserved.


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