Lucas Lanier pointed a handgun at his girlfriend Tuesday afternoon in Early, threatened to kill her and said he’d shoot officers who came his home in the Cross Cut area, Early police said.
Lanier, 37, did not follow through with his threats.
Moments after members of the Abilene Police Department’s SWAT team moved into position around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, Lanier walked outside with his hands in the air and surrendered.
SWAT team members took Lanier into custody and turned him over to Brown County authorities, who waited at a nearby command post, Early Police Chief David Mercer said.
Lanier was arrested on an Early warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and remained jailed Wednesday afternoon, Brown County Jail records state. Lanier’s bond was set at $100,000.
Mercer said Lanier was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia, although jail records did not reflect those charges as of late Wednesday afternoon.
Thirty to 35 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies including the Abilene SWAT team, which has about 20 officers, responded to Lanier’s house on County Road 411 in far northern Brown County, Mercer said. He believes the show of force was responsible for Lanier’s willingness to quickly surrender — and that’s how officers wanted it to end, he said.
The show of force “hopefully made him understand ‘let’s not do this,’” Mercer said, referring to Lanier’s earlier threats to shoot it out.
In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Mercer said a peaceful resolution was the ultimate goal, and the cooperation between agencies brought a potentially violent situation to a peaceful end.
According to the press release and a phone interview with Mercer:
Lanier’s girlfriend call 9-1-1 around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday from her home in the 100 block of McDonald. The woman said her boyfriend had pulled a handgun on her. The woman told police she’d been in a dating relationship with Lanier for two years and was trying to get out of the relationship.
The woman said Lanier came to her home, and after an argument, Lanier pointed a handgun at her threatened to kill her.
The two continued to argue, and Lanier got back in his vehicle and drove away.
Early police obtained an arrest warrant for Lanier as well as a search warrant for his home on County Road 411.
Early police had no previous dealings with Lanier, but Lanier was known to the sheriff’s office due to past calls. Lanier has made numerous statements that he would shoot the police or commit suicide by cop, police said. Lanier continuously sent text messages to the woman saying he was going to kill her and saying he would shoot officers who came to his home.
After Mercer and Sheriff Vance Hill discussed the situation, the decision was made to contact Abilene SWAT Tuesday night.
Police surveilled Lanier’s home throughout Tuesday night. Mercer declined to say how police were able to watch him. “We would’ve known if he left,” Mercer said.
Early Wednesday morning, representatives of the Early Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Abilene SWAT, Texas Rangers, Lifeguard Ambulance, Air Evac Lifeteam and Lake Bridge Fire Department met for the execution of the search and arrest warrant.
SWAT team members tried unsuccessfully to contact Lanier by phone, then called out to him on a loudspeaker after getting into position, Mercer said. Lanier quickly emerged with his hands straight up in the air. “It was literally as simple as that,” Mercer said.
Officers searched Lanier’s house, which was in “poor condition,” and found the handgun he used during the assault on his girlfriend as well as other guns he carried with him to Early, Mercer said. Officers also located methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the house.
Lanier had a male roommate who comes and goes, and had left for work before officers arrived, Mercer said.