If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
“IT WAS A NO-WIN SITUATION FOR EVERYBODY”
Local deputies who experience high-stress situations or witness tragedies have been able to access counseling resources, according to a directive from Frio County Sheriff Mike Morse, who has promoted the wellness initiative for his officers.
The sheriff believes accessibility to mental health resources was particularly useful to his officers after a May 30 case in which a woman shot herself during a stand-off with law enforcement in Bigfoot.
State troopers had attempted to effect a traffic stop in the case, but the woman led officers on a 22-minute pursuit before her car broke down on County Road 2755 in northeastern Frio County.
“It was a fluid situation,” the sheriff said. “We are unsure what prompted her to evade officers. We do know she did have some mental health problems and was very distraught.”
The woman barricaded herself in her vehicle and demonstrated to officers that she had a handgun, according to the report.
“I believe whole-hardheartedly that my deputies used extreme courage and strength, because I know in my heart she was trying to get us to shoot her,” Morse said in an emotional address to county commissioners on Tuesday, June 13.
The woman shot herself in the chest nearly three hours after the officers had first made contact with her, the sheriff said, adding later that she was hospitalized but succumbed to the gunshot wound.
Morse also said a man driving a freight truck in the vicinity of the stand-off was taken from the scene by officers for his own safety.
The sheriff said he stands behind an ongoing commitment to protect his deputies and that he immediately reached out to the Texas Game Warden’s Critical Incident Team for help.
“They came down two days later to meet with each of our deputies individually and at a round table,” Morse said, “and I thank them, because the mental health of our deputies is paramount. It was a tragic situation. It was a no-win situation for everybody.”
The Frio County Sheriff’s Office has reported that it has used the counseling service a number of times, notably after the death of Cpl. Justin Longoria two years ago and after deputies provided mutual aid during the May 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
“The mental health of these young people keeps me up at night,” Morse said. “It is a lot of wear on them.”