Police Militarization Claims Texas SWAT Deputy’s Life

Sheriff’s deputy Adam Sowders (courtesy officer.com)

“Just before 6:00 A.M. an 8 member SWAT team broke through the door of Henry Goedrich Magee [below] to serve a warrant which would permit the team to search the mobile home in which Magee and his pregnant girlfriend were living,” westernjournalism.com reports. Reacting to the pre-dawn, forced entry Magee grabbed a rifle propped against a bedroom door frame and fired at the unidentified intruders, killing 31 year old sheriff’s deputy Adam Sowders [above]. No one else was injured and Magee was taken into custody. He is being held on $1 million bail and has been charged with capital murder, punishable in Texas by life in prison without possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.” This case will certainly draw attention – again, still – to police militarization, no-knock raids, flash bangs and all. New details about the incident are adding fuel to the pyre . . .

The “no-knock” warrant was issued at the request of Deputy Sowders [shot by Mr. Magee] who was proceeding according to information provided by an investigator who told the officer that Magee ‘…was growing marijuana and possibly had stolen guns, as well as other drugs inside his home.’

No stolen guns were found and that a “small number” of marijuana plants were recovered. District Judge Reva Towslee Corbett signed the warrant for the no-knock raid; it’s not been made public.

Henry Goedrich Magee (courtesy kxan.com)

Magee’s lawyer Dick Deguerin (who famously defended David Koresh) said his client and his girlfriend were awakened by the sound of explosives near the front windows and a loud banging on the front door. Magee claims he didn’t know that police were raiding his trailer. Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

That said, a spokesman for the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office revealed that they “…did not know if or how deputies announced their entrance into the home.” Unfortunately, none of the deputies wore body cameras. It’s not known if the cops’ dashboard cameras were recording.

We’ll keep an eye on this one . . .


  1. avatar Mike says:

    All this swat is getting into my mind! I just typed in Swat Show 2014 to Google instead of Shot Show.

    1. avatar John F says:

      So what happens when a Crook/Perp./Bad Guy, breaks in to your house at 3AM and shouts POLICE. POLICE,,,,,
      do you shoot him or get killed your self ?

      1. avatar Salwolff says:

        I have read a few stories where this was done by burglars.

        These raids and no knock warrants are a death sentence to any innocent person in a home targeted by police.

        Homeowners are in a no win situation.I know some will say police would never target them.Well it happens to innocent people.In most cases the police are not charged even when it turns out the warrant or home was wrong.

        I would shoot if someone kicks in my door.If it is police I will die, or go to jail I guess.

        1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

          And this may ultimately be how the no-knock entry falls out of fashion. If enough police officers get killed serving no knock warrants, there may start to be reluctance to use them. Very few situations require no-knock warrants. Hostage crises aside, in most cases, police who need to approach a dangerous felon can roll up, cover doors and windows and announce their presence from the outside. In many cases, bad guy will probably eventually give up. In a few select cases, a shootout might ensue, but most serious criminals understand how to work the justice system and are not suicidal. They would rather surrender to an overwhelming police presence than go out in a blaze of glory.

          Kicking in doors without warning is only going to lead to more unintentional deaths be it innocents or LEOs.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          +100,000. A lose-lose proposition is presented to the unfortunate dweller in his domicile, but I will attempt to inflict severe loss upon my assailants, WHOEVER THEY MAY BE.

        3. avatar Stilicho says:

          Quite right, Jim. There is simply no plausible need for no-knock raids 99% of the time they are used. Eliminate qualified immunity for cops and prosecute those who lie or exaggerate claims on warrant applications. Also prosecute judges who issue warrants without probable cause; it will cause them to actually examine the “facts” presented to them that are used to justify warrants.

        4. avatar bozo says:

          Choppers. When the choppers get there, you can be pretty sure they’re legit.

      2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

        We need to outlaw no knock raids unless a hostage is in danger period.

        1. avatar Jinete Largo says:

          If it is known that there is a hostage then that’s reason enough to enter without a warrant rendering the need for a warrant moot. If it is not known that there is a hostage then a warrant should not be issued anyway and the LEO should be gathering more information to determine if a warrant is necessary.

      3. avatar ThomasR says:

        I’ll weigh in; the odds, since I don’t deal drugs nor am I involved in a criminal life style; if someone is breaking down my door at 3am yelling police; they are criminals; so I respond in kind; violence begets violence; heavy caliber and lots of ’em.

        If, in the small chance that they were cops, either because they picked the wrong house or because I got on some list of the JBT’s because I post on 2nd amendment web sites, ( You know, according the SPLC, we are the new terrorists) then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles; people will die that night, and lots of ’em.

        The irony is, if the cops had simply knocked and shown the respect that all people deserve, even alleged scum bag criminals,( you know, that odd idea of innocent until proven guilty), this cop would be alive today and the alleged criminal would simply be facing a low level possession charge instead of capital murder.

        1. avatar B says:

          Texas law is pretty freaking clear on this. Unanounced intruders broke into private property at while still dark (its dark at 6am, right?) with explosives and weapons. At night deadly force is authorized against intruders on your property, especially against police if they are infringing on your rights by committing a crime.

          This is one of the most important trials for our rights. The results of this will tell us whether we are subjects or citizens.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “This is one of the most important trials for our rights. The results of this will tell us whether we are subjects or citizens.”


      4. avatar tommyr says:

        I shoot. Period. No time for dicking around in a case like that IMHO.

  2. avatar JeffR says:

    Capital murder? This might not be the ideal defendant to test the right to self-defense against unidentified intruders who happen to be cops, but we shall see ….

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      Actually, some of the most fundamental protections arose due to cases involving seriously bad doodz. Ernesto Miranda was no angel.

      1. avatar Samuel Leoon Suggs says:

        He didn’t say he liked him or agreed with his lifestyle choices, the weed plant aren’t helping him with a Texas jury for example (sorry Id like to give the jury the good olde libertarian benefit of the doubt but I the medias gonna paint him as a trailer park drug lord) but that doesn’t change anything.

        1. avatar Juliesa says:

          He has the best defense lawyer in Texas, so he might actually get off.

      2. avatar JeffR says:

        Believe me, I know, but every little bit helps. There’s a reason our cause likes to choose its plaintiffs carefully.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      That’s like claiming that cause of free speech is best served by the defending the least offensive , while throwing the most offensive to the curb.

      Either ALL of us have rights or NONE of us have rights.

  3. avatar Nathanael says:

    It’s early and there’s little known, but it appears that this is precisely the kind of incident that might curb these no-knock SWAT raids by cops eager to play BADASS. Based on the evidence presented here, I certainly wouldn’t convict the homeowner of anything, were I on the jury.

    1. avatar Chad says:

      Yeah. I know for a fact that if I heard my door being kicked in in the middle of the night and seen armed men, I’m goin to lite em’ up. Doesn’t police know that home invasions are thru the roof. What do they expect.

      1. avatar Denny says:


        Busting down a door or wall gets the same nasty greeting just as any gangster, B&E, criminal.

        With the utmost respects to the dead, is that like a 2x badge and a 5X shirt. Many departments today have a large budget. I doubt its a croissant diet.

        1. avatar User3369 says:

          Well 1) he’s the one that requested the raid and 2) he led it through the door, so you can certainly call this “making your own bed and laying in it”. So while a general respect for the dead and public servants is granted, only to a limited extent.

          This man has no business leading a breach team into a “dangerous house”. He’ll be slow, he’ll be shot first, and thus create a more dangerous situation as fellow deputies try to get around him to complete the mission and/or extricate him for treatment.

          This “were ALL SWAT” mentality is as bullshit as the “I’m basically special forces” shit I hear in the military.

          No. You are not elite. You are fat, and you are putting your buddies at risk by requesting bullshit warrants, and leading them into a firefight they are going to have to pull your corpse from.

    2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      Even if he is convicted it should make cops think twice. I mean a conviction won’t bring that rather portly fellow back to life. We need to demonstrate against no knocks like an organized demonstration to get the issue on tv

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        And even an acquittal won’t bring back the accused’s actual life, either. F**k this S***.

    3. avatar Andy says:

      Agree ! BPAR.kypd.

    4. avatar Jeff says:

      You seriously underestimate how much certain people in Texas hate anyone involved with marijuana. The jury will be carefully picked so that this is all they focus on – a “cop-killer pothead”

      1. avatar Steve says:

        “Cop-killer pothead” is a contradiction in terms. Hopefully a jury is smart enough to realize this…

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          In Texas, Reefer Madness may still grow alongside weed patches. I certainly hope not.

        2. avatar Grave Digger says:

          Obviously you’re not old enough to remember the cop-killer potheads of the late 1960’s. Hopefully the jurors aren’t old enough to remember them, either.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Funniest thing in AGES, man! Yeah. I AM old enough. Pot has NOTHING to do with killing, EVER. Unless it’s over a drug deal. And cops have always been among the drug-dealers.

          So yeah. FUNNY.

        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “Obviously you’re not old enough to remember the cop-killer potheads of the late 1960′s. Hopefully the jurors aren’t old enough to remember them, either.”

          I’m 64, and the term “cop-killer pothead” is a new one on me. Do you have any documented evidence that such a thing ever existed, or is it just another boogeyman that the drug warmongers use to frighten you into swallowing their line of BS? (kind of like the way the powermongers du jour use “racist” or “islamic terrorist” to demonize whomever they don’t like)

        5. avatar William Burke says:

          Under J. Edgar Hoover’s bed. I mean his and Clyde’s.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Yeah, I think it’s quite well-known that the drug warmongers fear and hate the weed because it makes its users peaceful.

        Of course, that’s just another divide-and-conquer tactic of the Prince of Evil – Gun Nuts vs. Potheads. Kind of like the creationism/evolutionism dichotomy. It’s obvious to me that Deity created a Universe that evolves. But then again I’m enlightened.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          “Yeah, I think it’s quite well-known that the drug warmongers fear and hate the weed because it makes its users peaceful.”

          Which is also the reason the cops LOVE to arrest pot smokers, and leave violent criminals be. They’re … NEVER MIND!!! 😉

  4. avatar James says:

    I find it impossible to feel sorry for someone who was shot kicking in someone else’s door.

    1. avatar Stuart Anderson says:

      This. No sympathy for him. His widow, perhaps.

      Give the guy a medal and charge the judge instead. No knock raids are a BAD idea.

    2. avatar JackInTheCrack says:

      One less monkey getting spanked tonight…

    3. avatar MarcusAurelius says:

      Had it been Whitey Bugler’s pad or some cartel boss, I’d have sympathy for this deputy. But then those are the baddies you’re supposed to reserve SWAT raids for.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Not even then. Unless there is an active shooter or a hostage in danger of being harmed, then there should be no “dynamic entry” at all.

    4. avatar J.K. says:

      The crappy part is the tax payers will be doling out support money to this idiot’s wife and kids till kingdom come.

      What are the chances of an ultimate irony where said wife and kids become fatal victims to a home invasion; be it the gangbanger or uniformed variety?

  5. avatar jwm says:

    A deputy dead because of the word of one informant. There needs to be a higher standard for obtaining a warrent. And a no knock warrent should only be issued in truly extreme circumstances.

    I’d rather see a 100 trailer trash drug dealers, who ain’t going to do nothing but cost the taxpayers more money, flush what little evidence they have than to see people gunned down over this truly minor shite.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      +1 There are and will continue to be victims on both sides of the badge because of this stupidity.

    2. avatar Shane says:

      Well put.

    3. avatar Excedrine says:

      Correction: A “no-knock” warrant should never be issued. Ever. Not anywhere. Not any time. Not under any circumstance. Period.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Not one. At any time. EVER. ANYPLACE.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Chalk up two more victims of the insane war on drugs.

          One, the hotshot no-knock cop, and the other, a guy who will be branded for life as some kind of pariah for the simple act of defending his life, liberty, and property from armed thugs.

    4. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      I think the person who swears that a mo knock warrant is needed should be held liable for manslaughter if it can be later shown that a no knock was not needed to safely serve the warrant

    5. avatar int19h says:

      >> I’d rather see a 100 trailer trash drug dealers, who ain’t going to do nothing but cost the taxpayers more money, flush what little evidence they have

      Or just legalize and tax it. They’ll still flush the evidence to dodge the tax, but then it’s IRS on them, and they tend to be more efficient than SWAT teams, and without any raids, knock or no-knock.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I’m a long time proponent of legal weed.

  6. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    My condolences to the family of the deceased, but these no-knock warrants should be rare and reserved for only the most dangerous entries.

    I will not say he deserved it, but when you gloat and revel in the extraordinary unconstitutional power over free citizens, it can come back to bite you.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Correction: A “no-knock” warrant should never be issued. Ever. Not anywhere. Not any time. Not under any circumstance. Period.

      1. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

        If a hostage is present no knock entry makes sense. In some cases maybe for extremely dangerouse people who are already convicted and escaped prison maybe but for drugs etc no way. also it should be a felony to excite any warrant withou audio and video

        1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          If there’s a hostage situation, then there generally wouldn’t be a need for a warrant. That would usually fall under exigent circumstances if an innocent person was being held somewhere and in enough danger to go in at all.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          If there’s a hostage, wouldn’t a no-knock breakin raid drastically increase the odds that the hostage will die?

        3. avatar Rick says:

          As the old questions go, “If the suspect has so little contraband it can be flushed away in seconds, why the overwhelming force? If he has so much it can’t be rapidly destroyed, then why the rush?”

          Maybe the cop swearing out the warrant should always be the first one in the door, and the judge who signed it should be the second one.

    2. avatar B says:

      I will say it. Had this gone the way deputy whatshisname wanted it and he successfully murdered a man and his girlfriend over a couple ounces of pot, how many more of these raids would he have conducted over his career? Dozens? Hundreds? How many (mostly) Texans would he have murdered to stoke his operator fetish?

      1. avatar User3369 says:

        This. This is real.

        Operator fetish.

        If you can eat 2 members of delta in one sitting, you are not an operator.

        Go play air soft and jerk off to call of duty.

        1. avatar Big John says:

          “operator fetish.” i like that. i’ve got buddies that like to tell me how the piston kit they had installed on their mil-spec DMR makes it run so much cooler and more reliable when you’re in the sandbox, or how the latest eotech is the be-all, end-all when it comes to specops, or even how 9mm isn’t sufficient because it won’t shoot through the headrest of a car and into the backseat when you’re attacked by… well, whoever you’re attacked by. (no joke on that last one.)

          i played ghost recon; that’s about as far as it goes for me.

    3. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Would you give condolences to the family of a gang banger shot in the middle of a robbery? If not, then why give them to the family of this government employee?

  7. avatar Aaron says:


  8. avatar Adub says:

    Just like Koresh, they should have taken him while he was out getting drive thru or something. Instead they assault his castle. Idiots. At least they didn’t burrn down his trailer and kill everyone inside…

    1. avatar Will says:

      Wasn’t that the ATF (BATFE)? Oh wait…. they had the compound bulldozed shortly after: within a month of the incident. No usable evidence left.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        The FeeBI was in charge of bulldozing the Waco “compound”. Just like the FeeBI was in charge of murdering Vicki Weaver.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      And no mention of dead dogs, cats or parakeets….

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        No dead dogs or cats means no ATF, but no dead parakeets? I’m not sure they could hit a target that size….

        1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

          They don’t shoot parakeets… they stomp them.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          I was referring to a recent raid (wrong address, natch) where the cops actually STOMPED on the family bird – a trained attack parakeet, I believe. I’m of mixed views here; we might be better off letting them kill the family pets, so they’ll feel better and not kill US.

  9. avatar Hagge says:

    Obviously the swat team needs bigger guns, probably a tank, to knock down the door. Preferably they should just set fire to the house and shoot any survivors. Just to be safe. Think of the children.

    1. avatar Adub says:

      They shoot the children when they flee. That’s what the last Democrat president did. And they grease the treads of their APC with the bodies…

  10. avatar ST says:

    “The “no-knock” warrant was issued at the request of Deputy Sowders [shot by Mr. Magee] ”

    Laser guided karma.I’m sorry LEOs, you don’t get to skip the part where you say “SHERIFF’S OFFICE SEARCH WARRANT”. Either announce it verbally, or use a fricking loudspeaker if you have to.

    What you Do Not Do is kick in the door with no announcement.Criminals do that, and at two AM a boot from a SWAT officer sounds exactly the same as one from a thug intent on assaulting you in your own home.

    I’m not saying the criminal in this case deserved a free pass, but the Sheriff just paid the ultimate price for a bad call.No no knock warrants.

    If the bad guy is that bad, take his ass down somewhere else to LEs advantage.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “I’m not saying the criminal”.. Criminal? If a crime was committed, where is the victim of this alleged “crime?”

      The crime of allowing some some plants the Der Fuehrer is afraid of, grow? Maybe they should arrest God.

      1. avatar ST says:

        I was referring to the charges of drug dealing which triggered the warrant to begin with.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          An unconstitutional law isn’t a law.

  11. avatar The Dude says:

    I wonder the basis for capital murder. That usually requires some kind of premeditation, doesn’t it?

    1. avatar Stuart Anderson says:

      On the facts from the article I would 100% be saying not guilty regardless of the badge involved.

    2. avatar 505markf says:

      No premeditation. Just a dead LEO. All it takes in TX.

      1. avatar MarcusAurelius says:

        Doesn’t Texas have a castle law of some sort that allows you to shoot trespassers in your home? Seems like entrapment in some ways.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          How is it like “entrapment”? How was he “trapped”, when he wasn’t trapped?

        2. avatar David says:

          Simple. State of Texas says you can shoot an intruder…unless the intruder is the state of Texas. Maybe Catch 22 is more appropriate.

        3. avatar David says:

          Simple. State of Texas says you can shoot an intruder…unless the intruder is the state of Texas.

          Maybe Catch 22 is more appropriate.

    3. avatar TXGal says:

      Yes it does if you kill a regular person but in Texas,not being a licenced attorney however,as I understand it, if you kill an officer of the law, death penalty eligible. And yes Texs does have the Castle doctine.
      If jury finds that he did what a “resaonable person” would do, by all rights, it should be a not guality verdict.
      Not likely to go that way, considering this ihappened in small town Texas. Be bet appelable issue.

      1. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

        If a person breaks into your house , in Texas, it is alley ally assumed they intend tk do you serous harm.

    4. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I’ll bet they’re trying to sweat him into pleading to manslaughter so it all goes away quietly.

  12. avatar C says:

    That sucks but when you go kicking in doors, you get what you get. Cut this asshole loose.

  13. avatar AZGarandGuy says:

    That cop looks more like a mall ninja than a SWAT type.

    1. avatar Chad says:

      This^ he looks like he hasn’t seen a donut he doesn’t like.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Years of steroid abuse combined with not working out other than lifting a few weights.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      That’s his second job.

      1. avatar AZGarandGuy says:


  14. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    It sometimes amazes me the lack of intellect displayed by many in the law enforcement community. Seems like so many of them were never taught the CYA method. You shouldn’t take a piss these days without video evidence and you should never assume there isn’t any video out there when you don’t. I don’t know if this guy is a hard core drug dealer or just some guy growing a couple of plants to help with his anxiety disorder, but either way if they can’t prove that their presence was properly announced he should walk. Innocent until proven guilty, right? It shouldn’t even go to trial.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      To most police, a camera would be a liability rather than a benefit. They can do basically whatever they want, make up a good story, and because he (or she) is a cop they are automatically believed to be honest and upstanding. A camera would flush that whole system instantly because they would be accountable for their actions.

      If you are not doing anything too horrible in your own house, I might recommend setting up a video/audio surveillance system in your home with a remote backup, in the slim chance something like this happens to you. Let the cops do their “This is our story, just trust us” line, then hit them with the footage.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        If you consider a camera recording your behavior a liability, you are no longer the good guy.

        1. avatar The Original Brad says:

          Well said. Gov’ner.

      2. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

        At night and when I’m out of the house I keep my webcam on “motion detect” for just such a reason. Though my increasing paranoia might just see me leaving it on 24/7. I’m also looking at purchasing a dash cam, inspired by my Russian colleague. I might settle for a decent app for the iPhone though.

        1. avatar Semper Why says:

          If I may, I recommend the DVR-027. I have one for each vehicle and at $60 a pop, it’s a great bargain.

  15. avatar The Dude says:

    And all this over a drug that, I bet, is mostly legal in a decade.

    1. avatar John Fritz says:

      Or the technology for end-users to create such drugs will be common and affordable in a decade.

      Well, maybe a bit more than a decade, maybe two. Maybe three. But that is comin’. For both flavor drug molecules. Ones that FedGov labels legal and ones that FedGov labels illegal.

      The biggest laugh will be when folks can make their own legal pharmaceuticals. For pennies on pennies on the dollar of current costs.

      Big Pharma isn’t going to like that much.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Why “create” it, when it grows so easily, and so beautifully?

        From magazine pictures, I mean….

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          I remember years ago in central Illinois, when the local po-po discovered hemp growing wild along miles of major highway. It’s called “weed” for a reason.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          It used to grow wild along thousands of miles of railroad tracks. Hemp, that is, not weed. During WWII, the seed was transported in boxcars for “Hemp for Victory!”

          Here’s to Victory.

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Marijuana isn’t even a fracking DRUG, for gawd’s sake! It’s a PLANT!

      And I still haven’t heard from anyone who can tell me which of the 18 Enumerated Powers authorizes the government to throw people into iron cages for smoking dried flowers.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        Agreed. My liberal friends stand all agape when I tell them I believe that marijuana should be legal, give my generally conservative (libertarian, constitutionalist, I’m still trying to decide which fits…) leanings. They can’t grasp that the reason I believe it should be legal is that the gummint has no true authority to make it illegal.

        On a related note, as a (tobacco) smoker that isn’t quite ready to give it up it royally p*sses me off that a “drug” deemed illegal by said gummint is quickly becoming more acceptable than a “drug” that has been legal all along.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          >> On a related note, as a (tobacco) smoker that isn’t quite ready to give it up it royally p*sses me off that a “drug” deemed illegal by said gummint is quickly becoming more acceptable than a “drug” that has been legal all along.

          As far as tobacco goes, no-one is banning the actual thing, but rather the manner in which it is consumed – largely so as to not inconvenience the people around the smoker. This is very much in line with “your freedom ends where my nose begins”, quite literally so in this case.

          And I would fully support similar laws with respect to weed. That smoke doesn’t smell as bad as tobacco, but it does smell bad enough that some consideration for the right of others to breathe clean air should be taken here.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          I’m a smoker also, and am as thoroughly disgusted by the war on tobacco as I am by the war on drugs.

          I have no problem with being polite and not blowing my smoke into people’s face who don’t like it, but they’ll go hysterical over somebody smoking on the other side of town.

          Like all religious cults, the church of antismokerism is based on nothing but lies. I’ve seen the documents that prove that; I was a sort of paralegal assistant during two of the antismokerist money grabs back in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and Henry Waxman was the Harry Anslinger of the tobacco madness movement. This guy sums it up pretty weil: http://lcolby.com/

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Rich, I don’t think there’s ONE PERSON HERE who doesn’t know that you’re a Smoker, and that Robert is Part Jewish and Part African-American, whatever that is…

      2. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

        “Drug” means whatever the folks who are in charge of the government want it to mean. Kind of like “assault weapon” (although assault weapon actually has a real definition that’s ignored).

        I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the Article I Section 8 that mentions the power to prohibit ownership, sale or consumption of a dried plant. Unless you could the wildly-misused “interstate commerce clause.”

        The DEA and FDA should be abolished (along with the ATF, of course, and various other alphabet soup agencies).

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “The DEA and FDA should be abolished (along with the ATF, of course, and various other alphabet soup agencies).”

          I’ll do all that and more! All I have to do is teach 66,000,000 people to write Richard McCally Grise in that little box on the ballot by November, 2016. ;-D

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          I feel it my duty to inform you that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy told associates that he was going to:

          1) “Scatter the CIA into a thousand pieced and scatter it to the wind”.
          2) Abolish the Federal Reserve
          3) End the war in Indochina
          4) [unproved] Fire J. Edgar Hoover after re-election

          PLUS, he:
          5) Fired CIA Director Allen Dulles and DD-P Richard Bissell, after the pair set up the “tar baby” that was the Bay of Pigs invasion; designed to fail in order to blame JFK.

          My point: the Secret Service is not to be trusted. You will need to do a DeGaulle and design your own protective bureau!

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          I’ll have my inauguration in a stadium and tell everybody to bring their rifles so they can take out the suits that Kennedize me. 😉

        4. avatar William Burke says:

          Good luck, President No One Knows How to Pronounce Your Name!

        5. avatar Rich Grise says:

          I forgot to mention, when I fire all the bureaucrats I’ll give each one 6 month’s severance pay, so they’ll all be at home or on vacation with their families. 😉

          And because the economy will explode in prosperity, they’ll have no problem getting jobs – there will be a lot of successful businesses that will need bean counters and couriers and security guards and stuff.

        6. avatar William Burke says:

          When do we get a link to your Position Papers?

        7. avatar William Burke says:

          Rich, I think some of the two needs to be reworked. You may be too inclined to use clever, honest, self-effacing language in a legitimate manner. Like JFK, who seemed willing to openness, as long as it wasn’t about how his father got filthy rich.

          Given time, I think he might have actually addressed that.

        8. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “I think some of the two needs to be reworked.”

          I don’t know what that means.

        9. avatar William Burke says:

          Damn. Neither do I!

  16. avatar rammerjammer says:

    A doughboy dies playing Rambo.

    You reap what you sow.

    1. avatar Burrow Owl says:

      If one makes a career out of jacking up and shaking down the citizenry for political offenses, one should not be too surprised if the shit sometimes goes south.
      The (not so) little Gestapo Boy got exactly what he deserved.

  17. avatar Bill says:

    honestly, the same thing woulda happened had they knocked down my door, I sleep with my AR right next to me on the floor, by my bed and I’ve got a wife and 2 kids to protect, if you don’t give me good reason to believe you’re cops, you’re gonna be met by lead.

    1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

      Sounds sensible. Even if they scream “POLICE” when they break into your home, how do you really know it’s the police? How do you know it’s not a gang pretending to be the police so that you don’t shoot back?

      The answer, of course, is that you don’t.

  18. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I predicted it before reading the entire post … the no-knock raid was for marijuana and stolen guns. This no-knock raid was unnecessary … as are almost all no-knock raids.

    Maybe this will be the impetus for the po-po to search a home the old fashioned way: wait for the suspect to leave and then enter the home.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Correction: All “no-knock” raids are unecessary and they damned well should be illegal. A “no-knock” warrant should never be issued. Ever. Not anywhere. Not any time. Not under any circumstance. Period.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        There’s an echo in here.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        The only circumstance I can think of, off the top of my head, where a no-knock raid is appropriate is if police get solid evidence that a suspect is holding someone as a prisoner/hostage in their home and serious injury/death is imminent for the prisoner/hostage. Needless to say this would almost never happen.

        Thus, I did not want to say that ALL no-knock raids are wrong.

        1. avatar Tile floor says:

          I just don’t understand why thy feel the need to do no knock search warrants, to me that ups the danger unnecessarily for everyone involved, if I hear my door being busted down you’re getting some 5.56 tossed your way unless I have a good reason to believe you are police.

          Part of the problem is any time the word Gun is incorporated into a call most police involved in it flip their lids and blow it way out of proportion

  19. avatar vioshi says:

    No knock warrant should be reserved for those with a past history of pulling a Joe Biden (2 through the door) when cops were serving a normal warrant.

    Even if they announced themselves, in a sleepy stupor I doubt I would have the cognitive ability to understood what they said. I hope I have the un-cognitive ability to know what to do with BOOM, CRASH, sillouette.

    Think about the time line: Police! Crash! BOOM! Incoherint yelling, Stomp stomp stomp,
    Maybe 15 seconds? I doubt, the first noise is what I remember or am focused on. After all the whole point of a shock and awe entry is to suprise the targetand disrupt his OODA loop, but it’s that same loop that prevents them from shooting you.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Correction: A “no-knock” warrant should never be issued. Ever. Not anywhere. Not any time. Not under any circumstance. Period.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        There’s an echo in here.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          here here here….

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          What’s true bears repeating. There is absolutely no excuse for such thuggisn behavior. None.

  20. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    So what if they loudly announced their identity? Criminals have been known to announce that they’re the police too. Besides, the way my hearing works, I wouldn’t be able to pick out any one voice intelligibly saying anything if multiple voices were screaming and the crash of the door and the flash-bang grenades… and shortly after all that the boom of my firearm… My hearing get overloaded and I cannot discern what someone right next to me is yelling in my ear.

  21. avatar Arod529 says:

    I though that no-knock raids were designed to give the advantage of surprise to officers who are raiding criminals who are known to fight back, reducing the chance of police injury/death. From the presented information, I don’t think a no-knock raid was a valid approach. It does not however in any way mean that Magee would have reacted any different, nor that all the officers would have survived/avoided injury.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      “No-knock” warrants are never a valid approach.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        And it was done under the purview of the obscene, unconstitutional, illegal, downright evil war on drugs.

        1. avatar jsallison says:

          “And it was done under the purview of the obscene, unconstitutional, illegal, downright evil war on (some) drugs.”

          Fixed it for ya.

        2. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

          Indeed, jsallison … some drugs are “more equal” than other drugs.

          You’re allowed to smoke plant X but not plant Y.

          You’re allowed to consume chemical A but not chemical B.


  22. avatar CA.Ben says:

    Even if they did yell that they were cops, how is a citizen supposed to believe them? Any criminal with half a brain can yell “Cops!” while busting down your door.

    No knock warrants should only be issued under the gravest of circumstances, such as situations where there are potential hostages. Capturing a kidnapper, for instance. Things like drugs and guns are just that: things. Nobody should be losing their life for warrants over inanimate objects.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Correction: A “no-knock” warrant should never be issued. Ever. Not anywhere. Not any time. Not under any circumstance. Period.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        There’s an echo in here.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Why do you keep repeating the same thing over and over?

  23. avatar doesky2 says:

    So I’m guessing here is the BEST that the homeowner received as a warning…….

    1) 6am and the family is a deep REM sleep
    2) The SWAT team quietly drives up w/o lights
    3) The SWAT team hustles up to the door
    4) One SWAT dude at BEST yells out “Police open up”
    5) The homeowner MAYBE (but probably not) wakes up in a grog and asks his wife “did you hear something?”
    5) 1 second later the battering ram hits the front door
    6) Homeowner says “Holy sheet someones breaking in”
    7) Police come through the bedroom door and justice is served

    1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:


  24. avatar Wyfaggro says:

    Once again the stupidity of no-knock warrants is obvious.
    On an unrelated note, that deputy looks so much like my older brother it actually scared me. Of course, my brother isn’t a LEO or a Texan, but still it was freaky.

  25. avatar doesky2 says:

    Is it wrong of me to ask what ammo the suspect was using and how much a 1,000 pack goes for?

    And if it is wrong IDGAF.

    1. avatar Chad says:

      It was kinda wrong but relevant. I bet it was bubba’s 30.06 or 270. Kinda feel bad for the trailer trash. If he would’ve had equal force( say a AK or AR with ss109) he might’ve made swat think about coming in on people’s homes.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        It could well have been a 22 – does anybody besides Ringling Brothers or Goodyear make body armor that would fit Deputy Sowders?

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          SEE? This is why I have a CASE of keyboard covers!

    2. avatar CA.Ben says:

      Well M855 will definitely get the job done. Steel core, light armor piercing. Both cops and bad guys are known to tool up with body armor (Hollywood bank, anyone?)

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        SS109/M855 is not AP and will likely not defeat NIJ III armor, it most certainly won’t defeat NIJ IV armor. The M855 enhanced penetrator is meant for defeating barricades and light cover, not armor.

        1. avatar CA.Ben says:

          While I’m guessing that level III body armor is right on the will/won’t penetrate threshold for M855, no M855 certainly won’t penetrate IV. Not much will penetrate level IV armor, and certainly nothing that is suitable for home defense. I believe that size, weight, and cost constraints cause most officers (and well equipped criminals) to wear IIIA armor with inserts though, which is much easier to penetrate. My father was a police officer, retired in ’09, and he always wore IIIA armor with trauma plates.

          Do you have a better suggestion for an armor piercing 5.56×45 round?

        2. avatar Paladin says:

          Most rifle rounds will defeat NIJ IIIA, even with trauma plates. AP ammo is generally unsuitable for home defense due to the high risk of over-penetration, not to mention The generally poor availability. At home defense ranges M193 will perform decently out of anything longer than a 10.5″ bbl, or you can use commercial ballistic tip or OTM ammunition for better wounding and lower risk of over-penetration. If they’re wearing rifle plate shoot two to the body one to the head.

          As an aside, I generally don’t condone intentionally killing LEOs. Most are half decent folk doing their job. If possible, avoid killing people, but do what you have to do to keep you and yours safe.

  26. avatar Model 31 says:

    If they’re going to do no knock raids, I think it might be a good idea to turn on the lights and sirens as soon as they breach the door…perhaps have little red and blue lights on their assault helmets to identify them as police. Police cannot marandize someone while they are asleep, in surgery or unconscious. “knock-knock, police” before crashing through the door while they are asleep shouldn’t count as identifying themselves either.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      They damned well shouldn’t ever even be doing “noknock” raids in the first place. Not anywhere. Not at any time. Not under any circumstance. Ever.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        We get it.

      2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Maybe for a terrorist bomb maker.

        1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

          That would be one of the only circumstances where a no-knock raid might make sense. In that case, the raid has nothing to do with getting rid of evidence, or possible danger to police. It’s a matter of being an immediate threat to other innocent people (including the neighbors, if the bombmaker decides to detonate it there).

          Presumably, that would have to be backed up by evidence that the specific person in question is actually making a bomb and has an intent to use it against others (i.e. not simply acquired ordinary stuff that potentially could be used to make a bomb).

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “Maybe for a terrorist bomb maker.”

          Especially not for that! These days, all you have to do is criticize Our Glorious Beloved Infallible Fearless Leader to be labeled a terrorist, and all it takes to be a bomb maker is possession of a propane torch, some copper pipe fittings, and a few household cleaning agents.

          The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      BIG red and blue flashing lights; the same size as on the cruisers! SH*T! Time to reach for yet another new keyboard cover… I can’t stop laughing at the image. They NEED to do that!

      1. avatar Alan Rose says:

        If I had the ability I would manufacture hats that had flashing emergency LEDs hidden in them. Stocking caps, ball caps, etc. Lots of little LEDs. Not only would it be funny, but it could serve to ID UC LEOs to the uniforms. Probably would have saved the life of Norfolk VA PD LEO Seneca Darden:


  27. avatar Karl says:

    i guess the swat team forgot about Texas having castle doctrine

  28. avatar getfreight says:

    Governing terrain and choosing the battlefield are perhaps the most critical skills for a wise and successful warrior. Fail one.

    However, I feel for the officers family. I just hope the lesson of No, no-knock warrants is learned before there are more needless casualties.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      That one’s gonna need a custom casket.

  29. avatar Dave s says:

    I am of the old school, a uniformed officer, a marked unit, politely knocking on the door with the warrant. SWAT can always be around the corner.

    With home invasion robbers wearing police vests, it might be a hard case to prosecute.

    Look for a plea deal soon, very quietly.

  30. avatar Mike in NC says:

    File this under wishful thinking…

    What if the judges who sign no-knock warrants were held legally responsible the way a robbery get-away driver is held responsible for murder if someone dies in the commission of the robbery?

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      The French used guillotines….

  31. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Up here warrants are good for 72 hours. If the bad guy was thought to be a real bad guy, we would either wait till he left and pull him over or just go up in plain clothes and knock on the door. A few hundred warrants later, no injuries to anybody. Ever.
    It’s sad, but it’ll happen again with these stupid midnight no-knock raids.
    I’m glad I’m retired.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      That process just makes too much sense.

  32. avatar Ralph says:

    Sometimes you reap what you sew. But it’s still sad for the deputy’s family. Nobody needed to die. Nobody.

    1. avatar SAS 2008 says:

      Agreed, no one needed to die.

      Don’t go stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things applies to everyone.

      1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

        Amen Brother.

  33. avatar Smaj says:

    A no-knock raid for this- how about you arrest this cat when he takes out the garbage or checks the mail in the morning? Deputy Sowders reaped what he sowed. A useless death because he and his fellow officers wanted to be badasses. Please keep us updated on this case.

  34. avatar Toasty says:

    Another casualty of the worthless war on drugs… In an alternate reality that cop is at home with his family right now and this guy is happily walking home from Walmart with a pound of weed he got for an “everyday low price”. But no instead we have a dead cop and a man facing the death penalty. Without that worthless drug war the government started, gangbangers wouldn’t be murdering eachother over territory and blackmarket business; that’d take away all those “gun violence” statistics those anti’s love to talk about. Those gangbangers also wouldn’t be shooting at cops, so we wouldn’t have all these SWAT teams and cops rolling around in tanks to fight the gangbangers. Our lives as gun owners would be a lot easier without all the hassle the drug war gives us. Sorry. Rant over. My two cents.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      It’s not “worthless”. Not for the establishment; it keeps the independent operators in their place. Scared. Reticent.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        And the thugs get filthy rich.

  35. avatar Zarba says:

    Every podunk town now has a SWAT team, full military gear (including balaclavas thst cover thier faces, full-auto weapons, military vehicles, a desire to Play Warrior and NO ADEQUATE TRAINING.

    When your favorite tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Some poor yokel gets busted for possession, drops a dime on his dealer to walk, and the cops go overboard to get a warrant. The judge doesn’t want to look “soft on crime”, so he signs off, and the Police get to play dress-up and get on the news busting some redneck with a couple withered plants on his back porch.


    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      The situation is worse than the public realizes when informant- based warrants are issued for no-knock arrests. Why? Those busted for drugs, whether weed or non-prescribed industrial meds, are charged. Then they are offered a deal, very often this: “Get me five busts in the next six months and we’ll reduce the charges and you’ll get no jail time.” If the busted person gets three or four? Not enough. Off to jail.

      The machine contains many incentives to bad behavior, pushing aside rights, rushing, moving ahead on weak information. and so forth. The lower the PD’s class, or the town’s, the more true this is.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      And then it doesn’t go down like it said in the instruction booklet that came with the tacticool gear or like in the “training desktop exercise” at Hooters and an LEO dies of stupid and ego in public. Just such a waste…

  36. avatar S.CROCK says:

    wow! by the looks of things the cops would have died of a heart attack before his shift was over.

    now not to say what comes around goes around but… when you break into a Texas homeowners home at night, you should expect to face some resistance. i don’t see how you can expect a badge that isn’t visible due to the covering of night will change anything.

    1. avatar Lars says:

      As to the heart attack comment did you know that over 50% of heart attack victims are not considered overweight? Your size is fairly meaningless when it comes to heart attacks, it’s only one of the factors.

      1. avatar S.CROCK says:

        i did not know that. interesting though.

      2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

        Yea But te guys that have them at 40 years old usually are

  37. avatar Lars says:

    If I’m ever “swatted” I feel sorry for the team members who die and their families as they will be getting .50ae and/or 10mm screaming their way. There is no reason for no-knock raids in which they bust into the home. A simple knock and wait warrant would of been fine especially if the biggest claimed crime this guy was committing was growing pot plants. In most cases including myself if a swat team was perched outside my door and they knocked and were professional most including myself would come to the door peacefully, the small minority that would open fire on a raid where the police are being polite and orderly is the same minority in numbers that would commit spree killings. Almost none of us would open fire if we knew a legit swat/police team was waiting for us outside whether we are guilty of something or not. But most will open fire on any person or group of people busting into their home. It’s so simple but just like liberals with gun control the police consider all of us to be that tiny minority that are evil. So many conflicts from wars to simple traffic stops could be dealt with peacefully but many times the aggressor choses the worst opinions possible. Unfortunately this isn’t a local issue as this behavior has been passed down to local law enforcement by the federal government. The feds and military are giving these police the weaponry, the vehicles, the training. This is not how America is suppose to be.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “This is not how America is suppose to be.”


  38. avatar Tommy says:

    Way too many nasty personal attacks on the deceased officer. Yes, I believe and always have that no-knock warrants are not only unjustified but dangerous. Yes, the reason the police conducted this raid was not in any way worthy of the way they conducted the raid. There needs to be a higher burden of proof than just the word of someone who probably has a vendetta against another person in order for a raid warrant to be issued. The judge in this instance should be scrutinized as well.

    I don’t fault the resident for reacting the way he did and I do fault the police for acting the way they did. However, it still is a tragedy that this young officer had to die in this case. Not to mention the resident’s life is destroyed and he will in all likelihood be found guilty of murder even if the original reason the raid was conducted proves to be insufficient. Nothing good at all came about due to this incident.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      I’m sure the officer was a fine man. Unfortunately he was a lousy cop. And unfortunately it will probably take quite a few more lousy cops losing their lives before they realize that pre-dawn no knock raids are not only dangerous to the suspects but to the cops as well.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        May it always be so, until they decide to stop. AND stop.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      However, it still is a tragedy that this young officer had to die in this case.

      SWAT teams are so far down the rabbit hole that incidents like these are the only way these lunkheads will learn something. Of coarse I would lay money on the proposition that the only “lesson” these idiots were learn is that they should tool up with a MRAP for the next no-knock entry. The high level of karma of this incident is mind blowingly fitting.

    3. avatar lonelyranger says:

      I don’t understand the personal attacks on Deputy Sowders or his widow. I’m too old and experienced in life and loss to relate to the amount of flame directed at this LEO when NONE OF YOU WERE THERE.

      Too many haters on this site whether its a tragic story (for everyone involved) like this, or 1911s vs glocks, or any other topic.

      IMO very low class. I’m outa here…

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Who attacked his widow? I’m calling you on this. We ALL need to call you out on this.

        Come on, now. Evidence tomorrow, or a retraction.

        1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          “J.K. says:
          January 6, 2014 at 21:09

          The crappy part is the tax payers will be doling out support money to this idiot’s wife and kids till kingdom come.”

          This may be what he was talking about- I don’t know that I would call it an attack, but it certainly doesn’t sound like it was written with the best intentions towards the family.

          I haven’t read any other articles on this, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find more negative comments on local news. Haven’t seen any others here.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          I would call it an outpouring of frustration and resentment – not an “attack” on the family. But that’s just me.

        3. avatar lonelyranger says:

          That’s fine, I’ll be glad to explain my position. Unless an individual has personal knowledge because of their involvement in the incident being discussed, or personal knowledge of the character of the officer that was killed, I find their derogatory comments without merit. I don’t understand why so many felt it necessary to comment on the late officers weight, training, credentials, motives, eating habits, and/or intelligence. A few examples below…

          1. “The crappy part is the tax payers will be doling out support money to this idiot’s wife and kids till kingdom come.
          What are the chances of an ultimate irony where said wife and kids become fatal victims to a home invasion; be it the gangbanger or uniformed variety?”

          2. “The (not so) little Gestapo Boy got exactly what he deserved.”
          3. “Is it wrong of me to ask what ammo the suspect was using and how much a 1,000 pack goes for?

          And if it is wrong IDGAF.”
          4. “It could well have been a 22 – does anybody besides Ringling Brothers or Goodyear make body armor that would fit Deputy Sowders?”

          I could go on, but I think you get my point. IMO the topic was and is “are No/Knock warrants appropriate or not”.

          I will add there were a lot of intelligent and valid points raised as well. And of course I’m not naive enough to think anyone will change their approach based on my opinion. I just choose to not hang around where so many people hate at any opportunity. Unfortunately it seems these days that any site where opinions are shared draw a lot of these flame throwers.

        4. avatar doesky2 says:

          WooHoo…I made #3 on the list and precipitated #4!

  39. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    My sincere regrets and concordances to Deputy Sowders family and friends. As Ralph stated earlier, nobody had to die for this. Nobody. That said, Deputy Sowders is a whole heaping pile of high speed, low drag right there. Extrapolate from there, as you will. This idiotic crap has got to stop, right now. But it won’t, and that’s our inclusive condemnation. What an absolute, revolting, fucking, senseless waste.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I’m just wondering why the Hell Bumphukt, Texas has to have a SWAT. To take turns writing speeding tickets at the town speed trap while they sit in their MRAP with the radar gun that hasn’t been calibrated since the Alamo?

      1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

        Probably just because they can. Also, mission creep. Oh, and stupidity. Also, all of the other cool kids are doing it, and we all want to be with the in crowd. Because they’re special, and elite, and they have a mandate from God himself and also the State, which is really God, in some eyes, for all intents and purposes. They’re different from you and I, in their awesome eliteness and specialhood. They’re fighting the good fight, whatever the hell that is.

    2. avatar Paranoid Android says:

      I’m sorry, but I’m calling BS on this. Nothing about our tactically unsound LEO says “high speed low drag”. Surface area alone would suggest his is infact pretty high drag, and as we all know it takes a lot of energy to move a (approximately) 1.9 million grain projectile, even without all that drag. If anything he’s low speed high drag, which, aside from not announcing himself, could have contributed to his recent unnecessary death.

      It’s basic physics…

      1. avatar doesky2 says:

        Now THAT was funny.

        Maybe he’s low drag like the front of a submarine is shaped like a whale to move through the water better.

  40. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

    Oddly, some folks don’t answer the door when police politely knock on it and announce themselves.

    Weird huh?

    1. avatar JimD says:

      You say stoopid stuff…

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      SO? He’s comin’ out eventually. Why is it so important to get killed over?

    3. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      Yea some don’t then you go I. And get them or wait them out depending on the type of crime. For most it should be wait them out.
      At least no cops will be shot by basicly decent( he had legal weapons and an almost enough pot to supply himself and his wife) man won’t shoot a cop Thinking his wife and kids are in danger. Or some bodies kid killed by stray gunfire.

  41. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    “Capital murder” is the most serious degree of murder, even higher than 1st degree, and is the big death penalty charge in Texas. I’m not seeing a murder case here at all, of any degree, let alone capital murder; but I’m not on the Grand Jury.

    For capital murder, the State first has to prove murder, which has its own burden of proof. For capital murder itself, it then has to prove that the shooter knew the deceased was an officer acting in his official capacity. A no-knock warrant in the middle of the night pretty much guarantees that it was impossible for the shooter to know with certainty who was entering, let alone the circumstances, lawful or otherwise, within the time necessary to act.

    Alternatively, the State could prove that the murder was committed during the course of Obstruction, which includes resisting or evading arrest; but that still requires that he knew they were officers acting in their official capacity.

    What is worse, is that even if the jury finds him not guilty on the capital murder charge, they still have the option to find him guilty of any other murder charge or lesser included charge. Basically, they’re throwing the entire Texas Penal Code at this guy and hoping that, because he’s a pot head and the deceased was a cop, something will stick.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      A competent defense attorney would DESTROY these SWAT guys on the witness stand.

  42. avatar KarlanM says:

    This is a tragic situation, I live in Austin and feel very bad for this Officer and his family….. However, If I was his lawyer he would be getting off… It is debatable whether or not he knew it was the police, however the shadow of doubt is definitely in his favor

    From TEXAS CHL handbook
    PC §9.31. SELF-DEFENSE
    Not acceptable against officer *UNLESS*:
    (c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
    (1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or
    person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to *****use greater force than
    necessary to make the arrest or search****; and
    (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force
    is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer’s (or
    other person’s) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Where is it written that the super-sized Deputy had spawned? Or even mated? I could find NO reference. I suspect he lived in his mother’s basement. This fits perfectly with the provided picture.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Do you really think that that will matter? The truth is, that code may as well read, “civilian has no right ever to defend themselves against officer, for any reason”.

      1. avatar Karlan in ATX says:

        As they like to say It is only a “defense to prosecution” and will most likely be used in an appeal after a swift conviction.

  43. avatar Mediocrates says:

    I want to sit on this jury.

    1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

      You’re not the only one.

  44. avatar JimD says:

    I have ZERO sympathy for that cop. If more no knock raids would end like this maybe it would at least slow down.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      The same thing has been said about the raids on the homes of the Juden in pre-WWII Germany.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Here comes that Godwin feller again.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          So, what was Godwin’s point? That those of us who see the chilling parallels should just STFU and let it happen?

        2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          I don’t want to speak for Mr. Godwin directly, but I think the point in general is that even if you’re right, to the casual observer the argument “oh yeah? Nazis,” loses credibility.

          As a cop and as a human being, I am saddened by this death. I also don’t like the vast majority of no-knock warrants, and think it quite likely that if they had used a different approach, this would not have happened.

          There may be parallels in current events to the Third Reich, but I think they were already discussed quite thoroughly and correctly without putting the Nazi label on them. The folks on this site generally do a great job of that. No STFU required.

  45. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Enter my house without my opening the door.
    Some ones getting shot no ifs and or buts.
    It might be me, it will be at least one of them who ever them is.
    I have zero sympathy for the dead officer. His family yes, him no.
    The police dept and more so the dammed stupid judge holds all the responsibility for this death..
    Put me on the jury.
    This dude walks.
    + Plenty of compensation.

  46. avatar A-Rod says:

    Excedrin is right on this and he can repeat it all night long. I know we on this forum can bitch at each other about .45 vs 9mm, abortion, Obama, Glocks, whatever but there should be at least some topics we should be firmly in agreement upon. This is one such topic. ALL OF US should agree that this “no knock” shit has got to stop.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      GOT to. A hundred years ago, but today will have to goddamn do.

    2. avatar Carry.45 says:

      I agree 100% about standing together on no knock warrants. If your user name has anything to do with Alex Rodriguez I disagree because he’s a Yankee and he got in Madonna(eww gross)

  47. avatar anon says:

    The problem is these guys believe their own crap. They are good at writing tickets. A small town with an 8 member SWAT? You’re kidding me right?
    They don’t have enough time for coffee and donuts, let alone train and learn their gear.
    I’m out of shape and I wouldn’t try to load up on gear and charge in.
    Just like Ruby Ridge and Waco, all they had to do was wait and they had the guy but it sounds so much more exciting to go balls to the wall.
    He’s no more SWAT than a jelly donut.
    I have no more sympathy for him and don’t really feel sorry for his family. Sooner or later he was going to die, playing John Wayne.
    For those of you who sympathize, who did he think he was breaking into someone’s house in the early morning hours? Was this life or death? If not, stay at the donut ship until you can see the sun, wait til the guy is outside in a t-shirt and collar him. How hard is that?

    Small towns and cities have no business in the business of SWAT, stick to cool aid stands and speeding tickets and cats stuck up trees.

  48. avatar James1000 says:

    They weren’t wearing body cameras. But were they wearing Ghillie Suits?

  49. avatar Paladin says:

    We actually had a similar case here in Canada, look up Basil Parasiris. The police executed a no-knock raid while he and his family were sleeping. Believing it to be a home invasion he grabbed his revolver and fired at the police officers killing one and wounding another. He was acquitted under self-defense as it was found that he had no reason to believe it was a legitimate warrant service and not a home invasion.

    If it can happen in Quebec it can happen in Texas.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Here (in the US), we are a nation of 5 year olds who worship the police.

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        Have you been to Quebec? You will never find a more wretched hive of statism and tyranny.

        1. avatar John E> says:

          +1 for obtuse Star Wars reference.

  50. avatar Cubby123 says:

    The police officer who started the stupidity dies over what?A few pot plants?,meanwhile women are being raped,kids molested,Ganbangers and killers roam free,but eight cops risk and one loses his life for a 4th Amendment Violation over NOTHING!

  51. avatar Hannibal says:

    Magee ended the officer’s life, not some amorphous trend. Cop-killers have to say something. Either it’s “I was defending myself cause he was there to murder me!” or “Uh… I didn’t know it was the cops!” Although in the case of drug-dealers, I guess they might suspect it’s a rival posing as the cops.

    You want to stop enforcement, stop the law. Treat weed like alcohol and this won’t be an issue.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      ” Treat weed like alcohol and this won’t be an issue.”

      Better yet, treat it like the wild plant that it is, i.e., leave it the hell alone.

  52. avatar Dan says:

    Humans are creatures of adaptation. Intelligent ones can observe external forces and adapt proactively.
    Most however are not that bright….clever at times but not truly intelligent. LEO in particular are not noted for their blinding level of intellectualism. In fact there have been court rulings where LEO aspirants sued saying they were not selected for the job due to being TOO intelligent and the courts ruled against saying that indeed….too high an IQ may actually be a hindrance to a badgemonkey.

    Since Homo Stupidicus Caeruleus ( Stupid Person in blue) can only respond and learn post stimuli
    we will need to stimulate them into respecting the sanctity of the private home. This can only be done
    by causing them great pain and suffering when they violate that sanctity….to wit, when they invade your
    home KILL them. When enough of them die painful deaths eventually the species will adapt. It’s just that simple. As long as their is no PERSONAL consequence to them for their conduct their is no incentive for that conduct to change or cease.

  53. avatar shawn says:

    Texas is going downhill.

  54. avatar Carlos U. says:

    Why no-knock? Last time I checked it was pretty hard to flush guns or pot plants down the toilet.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “Why no-knock? Last time I checked it was pretty hard to flush guns or pot plants down the toilet.”

      Probably compensating for sexual inadequacy.

  55. avatar MOG says:

    “Law Enforcement” is going paramilitary/stupid all over the country. No reason to go over this, there was no need for forcibly invading the house to serve a warrant. A deputy can get a home invasion pass free, with an 8 man team at that? Something is seriously wrong. Might be a good idea to go back to that “investigator” and shake that tree too. I thought that home invasion under color of cop had been shut down, I am wrong. There are situations where forced entry could be the way to go, this does not seem like one of them. Arrogance, ignorance, and violence, receipt for disaster. Being Texas don’t make it right. (I support my local LEOs, from a safe distance).

  56. avatar rawmade says:

    Theres zero doubt as to what happened.
    The alleged criminal is still alive. Ask yourself, why is that?
    If a viciius criminal is out to kill police, the other officers arent going to just not shoot back.
    Hes alive because he thought someone broke in and shot the person, then realized oh shit its police so he dropped the gun and complied.
    If he was a cop killer he wouldnt have stopped after the first shot. If he was a cop killer intent on taking the lives of officers, the other officers would have been shooting back.
    No one is dumb enough to go okay im gonna shoot these cops, then shoot ONE and stop and pray they arent killed in return.
    The ONLY reason there was 1 shot, there was no return fire, and he put the gun down the second he realized what was happening, is because its exactly as he claims.
    He thought there was an intruder, he fired a shot at said intruder, realized it was police, threw the gun down and complied to arrest without any violence, without a shootout with other officers, etc. Its clear cut and obvious.
    This all happened because of TWO POT PLANTS by the way.

    1. avatar Burrow Owl says:

      “He thought there was an intruder..”

      There was an intruder- in fact, several intruders.
      Sadly, Boobus Americanus has been trained to believe that assault, theft, robbery, kidnapping, home invasion and various other atrocities are not just A-OK but, more often than not, commendable- when committed by someone in a government clown suit.

  57. avatar Aharon says:

    “He is being held on $1 million bail and has been charged with capital murder, punishable in Texas by life in prison without possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.”

    IMO, the only crime he might be charged with is possessing a few pot plants (gee, oh my!). Whatever happened to the police surrounding a home and then ordering the occupants outside should the po-po believe the target is possibly dangerous? The home was just a mobile home and not a fortified castle.

    Now, a cop is dead because of the bad decision to raid the home and not use other means, a small time herb grower is facing the death penalty or life in prison, a pregnant woman is without her man, and the taxpayers have to pay for the costs of the macho police and prosecution over-reaction.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      “a pregnant woman is without her man”

      Which in itself should bring criminal charges against the department. Don’t most police procedures preclude the use of explosives/gases when children/pregnant women are involved?

  58. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    Looks like the deputy was abusing steroids and didn’t do enough cardio to make up for the extra calories he was craving.

  59. avatar User3369 says:

    It’s not a very popular theory, but I feel the escalation in police militarization is directly related to the rise in the number of veterans entering their ranks. I’m not talking about the 4 deployment grunts who have seen their share of gunfights, or even the one deployment grunts who went through hell.

    I mean the 21 year old kid who saw two firefights while he held a blocking position for an SOF unit and thought it would be “so cool” to do that. But instead of putting in the work to get there, he got out, joined the force, and with his “combat experience” got a spot on the part time SWAT team. He is joined by like minded individuals, and they start ordering the kind of shit they had in the war, and before you know it you have glorified airsofters with real guns and badges begging to get onto a fight.

    The police force is no place for Rambo wannabes. And the GWOT has created them by the truckload.

    1. avatar Bdk NH says:

      This +1. Someone needs to remind the Police in cases like this that they aren’t Dev Gru running a snatch n grab on a hardened Muslim Terrorist.

      I don’t watch much TV. However, at a friend’s suggestion I recently watched about 10 minutes of the Dallas SWAT show and it made me ill. In the little bit I watched they used their APC to literally pull the front off of a house while physically breaching the back door and two side windows. You would thought that Bin Laden himself was inside with the overwhelming force (10? full kit SWAT dudes, sniper with a 50 laying in the neighbors yard) used to apprehend a suspect (not a fugitive). Inside was a skinny little half a$$ed ALLEGED drug dealer laying on his couch in his freshly soiled underwear with his hands up. As he was laying on the ground cuffed, the suspect was laughing at them and said, “All you had to do was knock, I would have come out.”

      Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    2. avatar jh says:

      It sure is a shame that we have people so stupid they can’t tell the difference between capturing terrorist in a foreign country and serving their own communities . What idiot is in charge of personal couldn’t see this coming from a mile away.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        If there’s a ‘terrorist’ in a foreign country, then how is it any of our business? Did anybody in that country ask for our help? If you’re talking about tracking down a fleeing criminal, aren’t there diplomatic channels for that?

        But I guess some people still haven’t got it that war is just plain evil, and there is no excuse for it any time, unless Americans are directly attacked on American soil. And even then, it’s merely a criminal act unless some other country claims responsibility and the Congress issues a declaration of war, which hasn’t happened since 1942.

        In any case war is bad, m’kay?

  60. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I think a little jury nullification is in order…

    1. avatar Ted says:

      No nullification needed (at least in the capital murder case). Excessive force was used and Texas has the castle doctrine.

      What needs to happen here is full acquittal of the charges and compensation for this man’s trouble.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        You have more faith in the courts system than I…

        I see this going to trail, but I’ve been wrong before.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I dunno. It was a pot case and I get the impression that they don’t take too kindly to those long-hair hippie-type pinko fags down around them thar parts.

  61. avatar jh says:

    Why would you want to wear a body camera if you we up to no good. Isn’t it funny how their is always an equipment issue when something goes wrong with the police. Maybe they should maintain their equipment instead of hanging out at you know where doing a whole bunch of nothing. Swat raid with a pregnant women in the house yes this was going to go well with the police record of shooting innocents she is very luck to be alive. The spokesmen didn’t know if they said they were police which means everybody involved needs to get their (lie’s) story in line. This raid was bad from the beginning. How much dope can you grow in a trailer. This is a classic case of deputy Cletus with tunnel vision too dam stupid to look at the big picture because he isn’t paying the bill but this time he did in a different way. the sad part is he will get a medal for being and idiot.
    I bet if the police realize people will actually shoot back ,maybe they will tone their seal team six reenactments on the public . The drug war has been a absolute failure any way you measure it. Add in a police department with defective members with guns and the blue wall you have the perfect storm for screwing over the public. The guy will be raked throughout the coals for protecting his home from so the Jack booted thugs pretending to be police over a couple of pot plants and we will hear rate police crying about how dangers their job is and that they are afraid for their live every encounter with the people they supposedly “serve and protect” with protection like that please leave me protect myself i would be far safer at least i would know who the real crook is

  62. avatar Justin_GA says:

    Absolutely a clean shooting. What ever happened to 4 police officer warrants. One at the back of house, One at the left side, One at the right side, and one who “KNOCKS” at the door with warrant. No knock search warrants are going to get police killed and suspects killed for no reason. I feel bad for the shooter

  63. avatar Frank McGhee says:

    Condolences out to the slain officer’s family, but this whole sordid raid was FUBAR from the beginning.

  64. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    I’d like to see a legislature pass a bill like this (or similar):

    A no-knock warrant shall not be issued against a suspect unless all of the following conditions are met:

    (1) The suspect has made a threat against and/or created a plan to injure and/or kill another person (or persons);
    (2) The suspect is likely to carry out the threat;
    (3) The suspect has acquired materials for the purpose of carrying out the threat.

    In short, no-knock warrants would only be justified if a suspect has made a threat to others and is planning on carrying out the threat. Nothing that is simply drug-related would be acceptable.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      I’d like to see them stop making bad laws and go back to the Constitution the way it’s written.

  65. avatar Btdsf2013 says:

    Look at the profile of Magee’s lawyer: that guy is one of the best defense lawyers in Texas, possibly the nation. He got off Robert Durst for self defense. There is hope that Magee will get off this charge completely! And hopefully he and his pregnant wife go after the PD for civil damages as well.

  66. avatar Alan Rose says:

    This case occurs five years after the Ryan Frederick / Officer Jarod Shivers case in Chesapeake VA which is remarkably similar in nature. Frederick was convicted of manslaughter instead of murder (due to his probable innocence, a true miscarriage of justice for which he did not appeal) and got 10 years. The police will never learn. They aree too busy ‘honoring their fallen’ to figure out how to stop it. A better method, if you must use no-knock warrants, is to schedule the raid when the suspect is probably awake, breech the door, wait outside in safety, announce yourself, and give the suspect time to surrender. Hey, it’s all about officer safety, right?

    And all this over a crime that most likely will NOT be a crime in a few years.


    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      But all of those arrests are for things that should never have been declared to be ‘crimes’ in the first place. If some guy is raping someone, then by all means, use whatever force is necessary to protect the victim, but for victimless ‘crimes’ like drugs or prostitution or gambling or pornography or whatever, where no one is harmed, it’s just plain evil.

  67. avatar Accur81 says:

    An unnecessary raid with tragic results. Hopefully lessons will be learned.

  68. avatar Alan Rose says:

    I remember another no knock raid that resulted in a cop being shot, I think Minneapolis? Someplace cold. Anyway, the homeowner was a foreigner who didn’t speak good English and didn’t understand “police / warrant” as he was awakened by his door being breeched. He shot an LEO square in his chest / vest who promptly retreated. The next morning the POLICE CHIEF was giving a news conference and APOLOGIZING to the homeowner for raiding the wrong house.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Minnesota Nice. 😀

  69. avatar David says:

    “Sowders applied for the search warrant after consulting with the district attorney’s office, according to the original affidavit, which included a request from Sowders to enter the home “without first knocking and announcing the presence and purpose of officers.”

    Apparently they were worried he might have firearms or an aggressive dog.

    “Officials have not released information about what was discovered inside Magee’s trailer, but DeGuerin said a few marijuana plants were the only illegal items in the home. While Magee did have four guns inside his home — a .308-caliber semi-automatic rifle, the weapon Magee shot Sowders with; a .223-caliber rifle discovered locked up in a safe, along with a shotgun given to him by his grandfather; and a handgun that belonged to his mother found in the kitchen — they were all legal, (his lawyer) said.”

    Just picked up the quoted material from a local newspaper website, theeagle.com

    1. avatar Col. Angus says:

      I wonder how thoroughly “her honor” challenged the necessity of the no-knock warrant request. Since the DA’s finger prints are on it too, there’s no way charges won’t be brought, probably murder. After all, the DA has to be on good terms with the cop house, right?

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      A testament to the insanity of the war on drugs.

  70. avatar Alan Rose says:

    Oddly, 15 miles west of this location, lies the village of Dime Box.

    On another note, do SWAT teams have/use bullet resistant shields?

    On another note, the linked story intimates that Magee was a felon, however TX law allows felons to possess firearms in their homes if it has been 5 years since conviction. I did not know that.

  71. avatar Jinete Largo says:

    Anybody who enters another persons private property violently and/or unexpectedly is stupid to expect to be met with anything but deadly force and further a person has a right and even a duty to protect private property against such entry and should not face prosecution for that act.

  72. avatar LtCol Stephen A. Bonning says:

    A ‘no knock’ warrant for weed? Is that what those warrants were intended for? Indeed, this reflects the militarization of the police forces in the U.S. and this story reflects one of it’s consequences. So they found legal weapons and some drugs. Not worth the life of a LEO or a civilian. This isn’t the first time a high price is paid for minor crimes or actual mistakes while executing ‘no-knock’ warrants. Hopefully someone will come along and look at the risk/benefit ratio and make a rational determination for continued common use.

  73. avatar John Boch says:

    If I was on the jury: Not guilty. Good shoot.

    Bad choices by cops led to the death of an officer. A reasonable and prudent person would be alarmed and in fear of death or great bodily injury at intruders committing a violent and tumultuous entry.

    The question we could as is why didn’t they just knock on his front door and let him come to the door?

  74. avatar hj223 says:

    In other news, Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Sowders will not be requesting or performing any more no-knock raids to collect plants.

  75. avatar Amber says:

    We have a Facebook started for Henry (Hank) Magee supporters! Look up ‘Supporters of Henry (Hank) Goedrich Magee’

  76. avatar Rich Grise says:

    Let’s not forget: This is one guy.


    Out of how many millions of cops? I just saw this on another board:

    and was reminded that the vast majority of cops are good cops, just like the vast majority of people are good people.

    Like they say, one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl! 😉

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      From a perceptual point of view (and perception is everything, it would seem), one bad apply indeed DOES spoil the entire barrel. Cops need to be aware of this.

      My gut says this kind of behavior IS the kind of perception they mean to engender.

  77. avatar Richard says:

    This is what happens when police want to play Army with citizens with no knock. In a small town in Illinois the DEA brought a swat team to arrest a man in his home filled with children. The Police Chief would not allow it, he walked up the front door, ask for man, went inside, handcuffed him and walked him out and handed him to bunch of idiots who are willing to risk children and occupants to play army. A jury will decide and the only conclusion they should reach is self-defense. A man looses his life over playing army over a couple of plants, what stupidity, The public put the band of fools, judge, prosecutor and sheriff out in the street in the next election.

  78. avatar Dave says:

    When I think of SWAT team member, I don’t think of an overweight (Farva) that can barely fit through the trailer door. Makes you wonder why he was elected to go in first and rest of the team was behind him.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Because he’d stop more bullets than anyone else?

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