Manhunt Ends, Three Charged with Attempted Capital Murder - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/18/04 - Angelina County

Manhunt Ends, Three Charged with Attempted Capital Murder

by Alex Carias

The manhunt through dense woods South of Zavalla involved more than 100 police officers who were joined by tracking dogs and a Department of Public Safety helicopter with an infra-red camera. About 8 hours after the search began, things began to heat up.

"Sometime around midnight the dogs had them cornered, and they shot at the DPS officer. We had a DPS copter out of Garland using the infra-red system that helped locate them. And with his direction we were able to get in there and arrest the second subject. This morning around 8:30, we called in the DPS S.W.A.T team from Austin. Lufkin PD sent us some of their S.W.A.T, and they united together and were able to take down the third subject and get him without incident at all," explained Angelina County Sheriff Kent Henson.

The whole thing began Wednesday afternoon when three men from Houston, Reginald Hooper, Jason Nicholson, and Carl Austin, allegedly committed an armed robbery.

"Just before this started they had stopped and attempted to rob a check-cashing business in Woodville. They had duct taped the people's hands and everything," added Henson.

The suspects fled North, straight into Angelina County, where their car was spotted by a game warden. As he approached the car, two of the suspects jumped out and one of them fired at the officer. The game warden returned fire, but no one was hit. The third suspect, Reginald Hooper, surrendered. He told police he had simply given the other two men a ride, but police say Hooper was involved in the robbery.

The manhunt came just four days after Huntington police officer John Logan was shot and killed after he made a traffic stop. Sheriff Kent Henson says what happened to Logan was definitely on the minds of everyone involved.

"On the heels of what happened Saturday, it was a lot of tense moments. And you could just tell by the adrenaline by everybody's action, including my own," said Henson.

Sheriff Henson says he's just glad this incident ended before someone got injured.

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