MISSOURI CITY, TX – “She went down immediately. She took a bullet to her right side of the face, and it exited behind her right ear,” Missouri City Police Chief Michael Berezin said.
“After she was struck, she did not stay down and lay there to die. She struggled back to her feet to try to complete the mission until she physically couldn’t, and the other officers got there.”
Those were the chilling words spoken over the weekend after a vehicle pursuit in Missouri City left Officer Crystal Sepulveda in the hospital after an alleged carjacker shot her three times in an attempt to avoid capture.
Here is what we know about the incident that nearly cost the 29-year-old officer her life.
Saturday night, Sepulveda and other officers spotted a vehicle reported stolen on Northwest Harris County.
For those unfamiliar with the Houston metropolitan area, Missouri city and the northwest portion of Harris County are not exactly close.
Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver led them on a chase.
The carjacker eventually stopped the car and bailed out, running into the backyard of a home.
Sepulveda entered the backyard in an attempt to locate the suspect. That is when he opened fire. She was shot in the face, left calf and left foot.
She went down for a brief second and then got back to her feet.
Chief Berezin said that the bullet that impacted her face shattered her cheek bone and then exited her ear.
“She was just trying to make the community safer and get the bad person off the street. He chose to hide and intentionally ambush her,” Texas Municipal Police Association Field Service Supervisor Clint McNear said.
She was rushed to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. She underwent reconstructive surgery to repair her cheek bone.
The following video was posted on Fox 26 Houston’s YouTube channel. It shows officers arriving at the hospital and carrying Sepulveda into the Emergency Room.
After shooting Sepulveda, the gunman ran down the block before entering another back yard. Pursuing law enforcement were able to locate him.
Two officers from the Houston PD were joined by a Texas state (DPS) trooper and a Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputy. When the four entered the backyard, the suspect again unloaded on them.
They returned fire, striking the suspect several times.
He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The deceased suspect was identified as 19-year-old Jeffrey Bundrent. He suffered gunshot wounds to the neck, torso, arms, and legs.
No other officers were wounded in the incident.
All the agencies involved are conducting their own investigations into the officer involved shooting. The Texas Rangers will be leading the official investigation as is the norm for OIS incidents in Texas.
KHOU 11 reports that in spite of her injuries, the young officer is in good spirits. She is a 3-year veteran of the Missouri City Police Department.
“[She’s] an amazing person and outstanding officer. She is extremely well-rounded, and she volunteers to do a lot of extra duty things,” Berezin said.
The chief also said he hopes she is able to fully recover and return to the street, as she is one of the best he has.
She indicated that she wants to be back on the job as soon as possible.
“These are humans willing to risk it all for something greater than themselves, and Crystal Sepulveda, Officer Sepulveda is the epitome of that,” Berezin told ABC 13.
“She genuinely cares about the community. She is willingly risking it all every day with all of the officers that I have here, so she just genuinely cares about people.”
A Help a Hero page has been set up to assist the mother of a 4-year-old with additional expenses.
Not all officers are fortunate enough to survive gunshot wounds to the face and head.
He shot a state trooper in the face with a shotgun, murdering him. Now a jury will decide if he lives or dies.
LAKE CHARLES, LA – Kevin Daigle, who was found guilty in 2019 of ruthlessly killing a Louisiana state trooper in 2015, is now sitting through a second penalty phase hearing to determine whether or not he should face the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.
The Back Story
In 2015, Louisiana Trooper Stephen Vincent went to assist Kevin Daigle, who was in his vehicle stuck in a ditch.
The original police video showed Vincent professionally and politely trying to talk Daigle out of the vehicle.
As Trooper Vincent approached the vehicle to render aid, Daigle, who was intoxicated, exited his vehicle, and shot Vincent in the face with a sawed-off shotgun.
Daigle was subsequently charged with the murder of the trooper, along with the murder of his roommate who was found dead in his home.
Daigle was arrested and charged with murder and eventually found guilty in 2019.
The Current Trial
Now Daigle is undergoing a second penalty hearing to determine whether he should face the death penalty or spend the remainder of his life in prison.
All 12 jurors must unanimously vote to serve an execution penalty. If a single juror votes against it, Daigle will get life in prison.
The penalty trial is hearing testimony and evidence related to the case.
According to an article by Crystal Stevenson of the American Press, Kevin Daigle can be heard rifling through Louisiana State Police Trooper Steven Vincent’s pockets while yelling obscenities at him in video footage shown to jurors Sunday during the second day of testimony in the penalty phase of Daigle’s first-degree murder conviction.
Daigle was convicted in 2019 of fatally shooting Vincent in the face when the officer tried to help him on the side of the road on Aug. 23, 2015.
“Oh, I need that. I need that,” Daigle can be heard saying as Vincent lays on the pavement next to his unit.
“You still alive? You lucky bastard. You’re still going to die.”
The footage was presented in a dual-screen format showing both dash cam video from Vincent’s unit and footage from a GoPro camera that was attached to the dashboard of motorist Robert LeDoux’s Jeep.
LeDoux is often referred to as “the Good Samaritan” by former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson for being the first person to stop and render aid to Vincent after the shooting.
LeDoux was the first ‘Good Samaritan’ to respond to the incident by turning his jeep around on the highway and approaching Daigle. LeDoux can be heard on the police recording exiting his jeep and yelling at Daigle:
“Hands up, dude. Hands off, man.”
At was at this time that Daigle took off running and LeDoux chased after him and tackled him to the ground. Other good Samaritans showed up to render further assistance and keep Daigle pinned down on the ground.
LeDoux can then be heard on the video saying:
“I’ve got a state trooper down, bleeding out of the head! He’s out and he’s bleeding and he’s bubbling.”
As Daigle is pinned to the ground, he can be heard yelling:
“You’re burning me,” and “Oh it’s hell. It’s hot. Put me on the grass.”
It’s ironic and in true criminal form to ask for sympathy moments after committing a heinous crime.
He later begs to be shot:
“Please, please, just shoot me. Please.”
Jurors are reading a stack of various Daigle health records furnished to them by the defense. Each juror was given a stack of papers in a manila envelope.
— Theresa Schmidt Kplc (@KplcTschmidt) July 19, 2022
Theresa Schmidt of KPLC TV is providing live updates on the trial.
The Defense’s Strategy
Part of the defense strategy is to claim that Daigle is not a calculated, hardened criminal, but merely someone with a history of softer crimes and who suffers from psychiatric illnesses.
They also claim he is rather gentle when sober but is more problematic when he is intoxicated- which is connected to his anti-social behavior and mental illness.
The family of Trooper Vincent hopes to get a death sentenced issued by a unanimous jury to put an end to their pain.
Dr. Patrick Hayes, the psychiatrist who met with Daigle numerous times, told him that he was heading to his son’s house with the intention to shooting him in the leg until he ran into Trooper Vincent.
Dr. Hayes also said:
“Kevin Daigle is proud of his substance abuse use and is ‘super pleased’ with himself for knowing the species names for his drugs of choice. He sees himself as highly intelligent and a criminal mastermind.”
This is a developing story as the penalty trial for determining whether Daigle will be sentenced to death or not. LET will provide periodic updates as the trial progresses.
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In Memoriam: Trooper Steven Vincent
Colonel Michael Edmonson, Director of the Louisiana State Police sadly reports the death of Trooper Steven Vincent.
Trooper Steven Vincent, 43, was shot & killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle. Vincent was on patrol and spotted a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle involved in a prior reckless driving incident. The vehicle was stuck in a ditch.
Trooper Vincent contacted the driver and requested he exit the vehicle. The suspect complied with Trooper Vincent’s request but had a sawed off shotgun hidden in his hand and behind his back as he exited the vehicle. The suspect brandished the weapon and opened fire on Trooper Vincent striking him in the head.
A passing motorist witnessed the shooting and took action to assist Trooper Vincent. The motorist tackled the suspect and wrestled the shotgun away from him. Additional citizens stopped to assist and they utilized Trooper Vincent’s handcuffs to restrain the suspect. They then rendered aid to Trooper Vincent and called for assistance.
Trooper Vincent was transported to Lake Charles Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the following day.
Trooper Vincent served the Louisiana State Police for thirteen years and was a U.S. Army veteran and served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. Also during his thirteen years of service Trooper Vincent had received many accolades and commendations for his service including the Professional Excellence and Meritorious Service Award.
Trooper Vincent is survived by his wife, Katherine and nine year old son, Ethan. Trooper Vincent is also survived by his two brothers, one is a fellow trooper and the other is the Chief of Police in Iowa, Louisiana.
Trooper Steven Vincent-gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Monday, August 24, 2015.
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