The incident involved a man reported as possibly armed shortly after 1 p.m. local time Thursday on a residential street in the West Texas town of Levelland, about 30 miles west of Lubbock.
The confrontation escalated quickly and gunfire erupted as the suspect barricaded himself inside a house and a standoff ensued. The house is located in the 1100 block of 10th Street in Levelland.
Sgt. Josh Bartlett, SWAT Leader for Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, is dead, and two other officers are in critical condition, local outlet KCBD reported, citing the Justice of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas.
Bartlett was pronounced dead at the Covenant Medical Center in Levelland, where he was sent with life-threatening injuries, according to a statement from the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.
The medical center, which is near the standoff site, placed itself into lockdown as a precautionary measure, a hospital spokesperson said, according to Newsweek.
Of the critically injured officers, one is a deputy from Hockley County Sheriff’s Office, and another one is a police officer from Levelland, reported KCBD.
Another officer from Levelland is also injured—his condition is unknown, according to the outlet.
The three were transported to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, nearly 30 miles away.
Gunfire was heard at the scene around 3:00 p.m., and later around 6:00 p.m. as the Lubbock SWAT team remained at the still-active scene at the barricaded house, the outlet reported late Thursday. People are being asked to stay away from the area.
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) issued a message of condolence in the wake of Barlett’s death.
“I ask the people of West Texas to pray for the family of Sgt. Josh Bartlett of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, who was tragically killed in the line of duty today,” he wrote. “May God bless all the victims of today’s shooting, their families, and our community at this difficult time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.