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Authorities Have Four of the 'Texas Seven' in Custody; One Committed Suicide; Two Still at-LargeAired January 22, 2001 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Joie Chen at CNN Center. For our viewers who are standing by waiting for "INSIDE POLITICS," we're in live coverage, breaking news from Woodland Park, Colorado. CNN is watching the latest developments in the search for the "Texas Seven," and late this afternoon we can report to you that authorities in Woodland Park, Colorado have confirmed they have four men in custody, four men they believe are part of that Texas Seven: the escapees from a Texas maximum security facility on December 13th, men, they say, who were also involved in a burglary -- in a robbery and a shooting, a murder of a local police officer in Irving, Texas on Christmas Eve.
These are the original Texas Seven. Authorities tell us that George Rivas, you see at the bottom middle of your screen there, as well as Michael Rodriguez, next to him, Joseph Garcia and Randy Halprin have all been taken into custody. The fifth man, Larry Harper, at this point, we are told, remains barricaded inside a mobile home park there in Woodland Park, Colorado, in the Coachlight Mobile Home Park. And authorities have been trying to negotiate with him. As well, we have heard in the past few minutes that tear gas was thrown into the area to try to flush him out as well.
There is a great deal of concern at this hour that two of the individuals, Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy, have still not been apprehended. It is not clear whether they are still in the area or not. Authorities in Teller County, where Woodland Park, Colorado is, say that for over a week these individuals have been staying in the park. So far, they say, there have been no shots fired in the course of the arrests, the apprehensions made today. But they are still working to get that fifth individual to come out of the trailer home, but he is barricaded in. And they are all, of course, continuing to search for Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy.
We want to join now from KDFW in Dallas, Texas John Walsh. He's familiar to many of you, of course, from "America's Most Wanted," and his program, we understand, is involved in the tips that led investigators to this point.
John, we appreciate your joining us. Can you tell us how your show is connected to these arrests today?
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, first, I've got to say I'm thrilled. I just got off a plane making connections here in Dallas, and several Delta employees came up to me and said, you've to get to a phone, they've caught some of the Texas Seven as a direct result of tips to your show.
One of our diehard fans -- and they've come through 645 times -- one of our diehard fans called the sheriff's department last night and said, "I watch 'America's Most Wanted.' I believe some of the Texas Seven are holed up in this suburb of Colorado Springs."
Law enforcement did a great job. They waited for Rivas, who's the ringleader, as you know, who masterminded this incredible escape from this Texas prison over a month ago. Rivas and Rodriguez and Garcia, three of the most dangerous, were taken down without incident. One guy came out, the guy who, this coward that came out, who had broken a 17-month-old baby's body in seven places, came out. The other guy's surrounded. So, that's five of them.
I think it's incredible, and again, our viewers have come through, as they've done for 13 years, have had the courage to make that call and bring down dangerous fugitives.
CHEN: John, can you explain us to now, when did the program about the Texas Seven air and when did the response come in relative to the show airing?
WALSH: We did them the first week they broke out. We just put a little blurb on the air. The second week we expanded it. Three weeks ago, I came here after they robbed the Oshman's, the sporting goods store, and they killed a 29-year-old police officer. It was horrible. They assassinated him. And he came upon a call at this sporting goods store.
They shot him through the door of his car, dragged him out, shot him several times with their guns underneath his -- his bulletproof vests, and then drove over his head three times with their car.
I knew they were dangerous. We changed all our plans. We came here. We worked with the Texas Rangers, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Marshals and the FBI. I went to the command center, and they said: Look, "America's Most Wanted" had an incredible track record; we need your help, because these guys could be anywhere. And again, our viewers came through.
And everybody expected that these guys with their 70 weapons and all that ammunition would take hostages and kill people and go down. But you know what, it's phenomenal, wonderful news that four of them are in custody. The other guy, they'll take him down dead or alive. Now...
CHEN: John, do you know anything about the report that was made? Do you know what this fan of your show actually saw? Had he had contact or she had contact directly with these escapees?
WALSH: We got about 10 calls from the area to "America's Most Wanted." I don't believe he had direct contact. He was a fan. He did the right thing, he called our 800 number. He also called the sheriff's department there, and the sheriff's department has done a great job with the U.S. Marshals of making sure that they have taken these guys down without incident. The -- the real problem now is that Newbury and Murphy are still at-large. I always believed that they would probably split off. A lot of law enforcement believed that, that they would go their own way, that the Mexican guys, and Halprin and Harper, who are not rocket scientists, real cowards -- their rapists and child molesters -- would probably stay with Rivas, who was the genius behind this prison escape.
Now, we've got to make sure -- and I think like the rats and lowlifes that these guys are -- they will probably tell authorities where they think Newbury and Murphy are. And I hope Newbury and Murphy are taken down in the same way: without any loss of life, because these are dangerous, dangerous violent fugitives.
CHEN: John, I know that you have watched a number of cases unfold, of course, during the course of your program. In a case like this, how stunning is it to you that these escapees apparently have been able to stick together for all these weeks?
WALSH: I'm not surprised. No. 1, I talked to the prison psychologist, and he said George Rivas, the ringleader, was pathological, highly intelligent, very organized, very calculating. They planned that escape from that Texas prison for over a year and pulled it off with military precision.
They got out of that prison with 15 357 Magnum guns. They went right to a Radio Shack and stole police scanners and walkie-talkies. Very smart. They robbed an Oshman's sporting goods store in Irving, Texas on Christmas Eve. They knew there would be a lot of money there. They got $70,000, more weapons, automatic weapons, ammunition. They killed a cop and they were smart.
Most of the guys I do on "America's Most Wanted," they get out of prison, they rob a 7-Eleven for $300 or $400, and they get caught. These guys knew that the world and "America's Most Wanted" was looking for them. And after they killed that cop, they laid low.
They could have stayed out there a long time. I've got to give this viewer and the other viewers who made the tip, particularly this one man, a lot of credit, because he probably saved a lot of lives.
And these guys were very, very smart. They didn't do anything stupid. I think they believed that they were going to get away, that they were going to somehow get out of the country or they were going to stay out there. And they stayed out there for over a month.
CHEN: John, I want to tell our viewers who are joining us here at seven minutes after the hour that we are standing by. We are waiting from Huntsville, Texas a statement from the Texas Board of Corrections. And we'll go live to that as soon as it happens.
Can you talk to us a little bit more about what the psychologist of the prison told you about this particular group? Had they been gathering together for a time? Had they been working together and had an opportunity to come up with a way to effect their escape? I mean seven guys? WALSH: Absolutely. Absolutely. It was really, really well- planned. I mean, a lot of fingers have been pointed at the Texas Department of Corrections. Let me tell you, these guys planned this for over a year.
In prison, people snitch on each other to get better jobs in the library or to get favors from the administration or the guards. These guys never talked They planed this for over a year. They pulled it off like they were Navy Seals or Vietnam Green Beret. I mean, this was a very cold, calculated, well-planned-out escape.
Once they got out, they operated like a team. They didn't make mistakes. Unfortunately, this wonderful police officer, this father of a 9-year-old boy, responded to this -- to this call at this sporting goods store. And they assassinated him. They virtually executed him. But they were smart enough to stay low, low profile.
And the prison psychologist said to me, even the dumb ones are listening to Rivas. Rivas is cold, calculating, really smart. He's done this before. He was in prison for organizing big-time robberies. He had robbed a Toys "R" Us. He had robbed a Wal-Mart or stores of that size: just like an organized gang before. He had used police scanners, walkie-talkies.
And I believe that the five of these guys stayed together because Rivas was the glue, and I'm so glad to see that Rivas was taken down as one of the guys who went to that convenience store. The problem is we've still got two guys out there. My feeling is they may get desperate.
But you know what: These guys are cowards. These guys are people who prey upon women and children. They're rapists, they're murderers, they're child molesters. And I wouldn't be surprised if they don't go down crying and whimpering like the cowards that they are.
CHEN: John, stand by for a moment here. I just want to bring our viewers up-to-date, those who are just joining us at this hour -- it's after 5 o'clock Eastern Time -- and who have not been following this throughout the afternoon. We're following the latest developments here at CNN of what is going to in Woodland Park, Colorado. That is where authorities have arrested four men they say, they believe are part of the Texas Seven. Those are the seven inmates from a Texas maximum security facility who escaped in mid-December, have been on the run ever since, were involved in a shooting and a killing a local police officer in Irving, Texas on Christmas Eve, when they held up a sporting goods store.
Four of the seven have been apprehended today in Woodland Park, Colorado. There you see them on your screen: George Rivas, Michael Rodriguez, Joseph Garcia and Randy Halprin. A fifth man, Larry Harper, from late reports from the scene in Woodland Park, Colorado was said to still be barricaded inside a mobile home, where he and the others had been taking refuge, at least for the last week, according to local authorities there, in Teller County.
But the most important thing at this hour is that two of the original seven -- those would be Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy -- are still at-large. And so you see a rather significant police presence there in Teller County, Colorado. We are told that they have sealed off an area about half a mile diameter, evacuation of offices in that area, closing early of six schools in the area. People in Woodland Park, Colorado told to stay inside.
And one of our affiliates, KUSA in Denver, Colorado, reports that police are searching for a 1975 brown Ford conversion van with white curtains and temporary plates. They are concerned that the other two individuals who remain at large, Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy, might be using that as something of a getaway vehicle as they continue to try to stay on the lam and away from authorities in the Woodland Park, Colorado area.
John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" has been with us for these last few minutes talking about his program's involvement in this case.
John, you said that it had been several weeks since the last program about the Texas Seven aired, when you had last gone into this area and reported further about the Texas Seven. Is that a normal turnaround time between a time a program airs and an actual tip coming in from the audience?
WALSH: No, we've been doing it every week. We've been doing it every week since they escaped. The first week that they escaped we put it on for a minute. The second week we did it for about four minutes. The third week, after they had killed the police officer, I came here to Texas and went to the nerve center with the Texas Rangers and the Marshals and the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety, and did a whole hour devoted to that. Last Saturday night, we got about 350 tips, and we did an update on it again last Saturday night.
So we always stayed on the case, just like Resendez Ramirez, the hobo serial killer, if you remember him. We worked closely with the Texas Rangers. He killed eight people throughout the United States, and we got a tip from his sister to our hotline. And why -- you know, what amazes me is that people call "America's Most Wanted" not for the $500,000 reward. I don't think this man in Colorado knew that there was a $500, 000 reward. He did the right thing.
Lots of people are afraid of retribution. They're afraid that their phones are tapped or police are going to bring them into the trial. When you call "America's Most Wanted," you can remain anonymous. And that's what I'm saying about Murphy and Newbury. Somebody knows where they are. If they're on the run, you can call 1- 800-CRIME-TV, just like this man in Woodland Park did last night, just like he did the right thing. If you see these other two guys, make that call. They're dangerous, they're heavily armed.
But we've stayed on the case every week since they escaped, and you know, I give the credit to the American public: 645 fugitives, five of these guys today because people have the guts to call that 800 number.
CHEN: But John, do you also get calls from people who think perhaps that they've seen them? I mean, you said you had several hundred calls. Were all of these pointing to this particular area of Colorado or are some of them sort of mistaken, misplaced reports?
WALSH: No, we -- we had so many calls. They were allegedly sighted in New York City. They were sighted in states all over. They were -- one sighting, possible sighting in Canada. But we take every call seriously. But we got several calls from this area.
But the main call was from a man last night who said: I'm a fan of "America's Most Wanted." I'm absolutely convinced that the Texas Seven are holed up here in this suburb in Woodland Hills. And he was dead right.
And I've got to say that sheriff's department there in that county and the Marshals did the right thing. They waited for Rivas and Rodriguez and Garcia to come out. They followed them to a convenience store and surrounded them without any loss of life. It's really been a very good effort on law enforcement.
But again, I'm still saying, it's wonderful. Four are in custody, one surrounded. But you've still got two other dangerous guys out there, Newbury and Murphy. And if somebody sees them now or you're afraid and you know where they are and you're afraid to call law enforcement, you can still call 1-800-CRIME-TV and we will relay that -- that tip onto law enforcement.
But we've got five down, two to go, but those two out there have got a lot of weapons. They're still dangerous. And I'm just thrilled that so far there hasn't been any loss of life in the capture of five of these -- well, four of these guys and one guy surrounded.
CHEN: Thanks, John. And it's important to note here that there have been no reports from Teller County, Colorado that there have been any shots fired. There has been tear gas fired in an attempt to lure out the fifth individual, Larry Harper, to get him out of the mobile home. But he's barricaded himself in.
But at this hour, there are no reports of any injuries or even any shots fired in bringing four of these individuals into arrest this afternoon.
John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted," we'll ask you to stand by. We know many of our viewers are watching this very intently and have involvement, of course, in your program as well and report as they see to find out about crimes. So we will ask you to stand by.
We're going to take a break here in CNN's coverage. We're still awaiting a live news conference from Huntsville, Texas. We're waiting for the Texas Board of Corrections to bring out a statement there. Reporters have been standing by for more than an hour now waiting for the latest information from the Texas Bureau of Corrections. We'll bring it to you live, we hope, coming up in just a few minutes.
Stand by here now for a break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHEN: CNN continuing our coverage of the latest developments in Woodland Park, Colorado. We see here the Teller County sheriff speaking with reporters in Woodland Park. Let's listen..
FRANK FEHN, TELLER COUNTY SHERIFF: A few moments ago, we culminated a situation that started sometime Sunday afternoon about 4:30, 5 o'clock.
Mr. Harper, the last of the five that we came across, today committed suicide at approximately 12:40 this afternoon. He was the last one in the motor home. That was at the campground or the RV park.
Earlier, three men were taken off the street in automobile and another one was taken out of the motor home. All five of these are escapees from an institution in Texas.
We had exceptional cooperation with the FBI and El Paso County.
MARK MERSHON, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, COLORADO FBI: Thank you, Sheriff.
My name is Mark Mershon, the special agent in charge of FBI operations in Colorado.
This is the story of the seven Texas fugitives. The story is by no means over. That's a very, very important, it's our most important message this evening.
We have four subjects safely in custody. They are George Rivas, believed to be the ringleader, Joseph Garcia, Michael Rodriguez, and most recently Randy Halprin. Three of those subjects were arrested in a vehicle stopped at a shopping mall here locally. The fourth subject I mentioned surrendered at the RV park up the road here. There were two subjects in that RV park in a recreation vehicle. One of those subjects, Larry James Harper, is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
We've asked that his family be notified in Texas.
It is very important for the public to listen that we have two subjects who are still on the loose. Then are armed and extremely dangerous. They are in fact heavily armed. We know this based upon an interview of the subjects we have in custody. So this is good information.
Donald Keith Newbury and Patrick Henry Murphy Jr. -- those are the two remaining of the seven fugitives out of the state of Texas that have been in the news so much of late.
At last we knew, they were reported to be driving in a conversion van described as one manufactured in the '70s, believed to be brown or perhaps maroon in color, possibly with white curtain -- white curtains in the side windows and the back windows. That's about all we have at this -- at this point.
QUESTION: Were they...
MERSHON: Hold on, please. We have one other speaker here. Sheriff John Anderson.
JOHN ANDERSON, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF: John Anderson, El Paso County sheriff.
As Agent Mershon said, we are still looking for two very violent killers. They have killed a police officer. They are heavily armed.
The reason why these five suspects are not at large right now is not necessarily outstanding police work, although we saw some good police work by a number of agencies this afternoon. But it was the community and people in the community that came forward.
Had we not had information from the community that said we think that at least three if not five of these suspects from Texas are here in Teller County, we never would have been here.
We're asking for your help, the communities all over Colorado as well as surrounding states. We need these other two suspects very, very badly. If anybody does know where they're at, locate them in a hotel, the vehicle description, or have contact with them, please call the local FBI.
What we saw this afternoon was a combination of efforts from the Teller County Sheriff's Office SWAT unit, the FBI SWAT unit, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office SWAT unit, plus a number of other federal agencies that have been very supportive right from the very beginning, the U.S. Marshal's office.
The most important thing that we can do here right now this afternoon is get the information on the two at-large suspects and the best vehicle description that we can.
We know that they were here probably yesterday, maybe even as late as late as yesterday afternoon. We have had this location under surveillance since before 2 o'clock this morning. So we know that they didn't slip out during that time. So they do have a bit of a head start on us.
Let me turn it back over to Sheriff Fehn.
FEHN: A question somebody asked.
QUESTION: Sheriff, talk about the moment that you discovered the fugitive dead. How did that happen? And...
FEHN: We were attempting to negotiate him out of the motor home. We had FBI negotiators, and during the negotiations, at 12:40, we heard a gunshot from within the motor home. We waited a period of time until approximately a quarter of three, and then we made entry into the motor home and found the deceased. QUESTION: Sheriff, we heard additional, what sounded like shots, probably six in all, over the last 40 minutes. Five at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and then one other time.
FEHN: What -- what you heard was the use of gas to make sure that he was not in there with a weapon waiting to harm one of our people and then other devices to open the locked door of the motor home.
QUESTION: Was he not being cooperative with you during the negotiations or did you have any indication that he might kill himself?
FEHN: No indication at all. He -- for a period of time was observing us through the window. And then we heard the gunshot -- we saw no more movement in the motor home.
QUESTION: How was the negotiation going on: telephone, cell phone?
FEHN: With a bull horn from in front of the motor home to the motor home.
QUESTION: Was he speaking back?
FEHN: He was not speaking back.
QUESTION: Did you have any clues at all as to where these last two people are, what direction they were headed?
FEHN: Not at the moment.
QUESTION: Does that vehicle have -- do you know if it has Texas or Colorado or another state's license plates?
FEHN: I do not know.
QUESTION: Any were there any shots fired at law enforcement from the motor home?
FEHN: No, there were not.
QUESTION: No shots?
QUESTION: Any indication why they split up, why these two ran?
FEHN: Why the other two left? No idea.
QUESTION: Sheriff, was there any contact at all with Harper before he took his life? Did he make any requests?
FEHN: I believe when we got Mr. Halprin, he told us that he would like to speak with his father.
FEHN: Harper wanted to speak to his father.
QUESTION: ... that request.
FEHN: Halprin told us Harper wanted to speak with his father. We -- we made attempts to contact the father, and in negotiations we told Mr. Harper we had a cell phone available for him to speak with his father.
QUESTION: But he was never able to.
FEHN: He never responded to us.
QUESTION: Why were they in this area? Did they know someone at that -- at the trailer park?
FEHN: Not to our knowledge at the moment.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) particular trailer park that turned them in?
FEHN: Somebody in the trailer park, yes, informed us that they thought these might be the people from Texas.
QUESTION: Why do you think they were in (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
FEHN: I can't answer that.
QUESTION: Did the people who contacted you from the community give you any idea why they thought these were the ones or how they know?
FEHN: They saw it on the Internet and on...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "America's Most Wanted."
FEHN: ... "America's Most Wanted."
QUESTION: Did they tell you how long they had been here?
FEHN: They've been here since approximately the first of January.
QUESTION: Where are the four right now? Where were they taken?
FEHN: To my knowledge, they are in the Teller County jail.
QUESTION: Those 22 days (UNINTELLIGIBLE) first of January.
FEHN: That's what they told us.
QUESTION: Do you know if this brown van is stolen? Or where...
FEHN: Alls we know it has temporary tags and we don't know from what state. QUESTION: Sheriff, there was an unsolved murder on the county line (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Park County earlier this month. Do you think that there are any links between these people and what happened in Teller County?
FEHN: I honestly can't answer that. But from the information I am aware of, they had no part in that.
QUESTION: Sheriff, to you or to Special Agent in Charge Mershon, you've given indications that they have been interviewed already, the ones in custody. Have they been able to tell you anything more other than the little bit that you passed along before?
Could you step up to the microphone?
MERSHON: I think it's fair to tell you this has been a model of cooperation. It was "America's Most Wanted" that was broadcast Saturday night that I think we can say directly led to this identification.
The four subjects who are in custody, I can tell you, are cooperating with us. There's a limit to the information they have and there's certainly a limit to how much we will disclose, but they are working with us.
QUESTION: Rivas is considered to be the ringleader. Are they going to make any appeals to the two remaining fugitives to give themselves up?
MERSHON: Well, that remains to be seen.
QUESTION: Have you gotten any reports of which direction the suspects were headed in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) still at-large?
MERSHON: No, we don't have any specific information as to where they are headed.
QUESTION: Have they told you anything more about their activities here since January 1st?
MERSHON: They have been very low-profile in this very rural mountainous community. I think it was in their best interest to maintain a low profile, and that's obviously what they did.
QUESTION: Do you know when -- do you know when all of these people were all together, all seven, when they were last all together?
MERSHON: We don't know that for sure at this point.
QUESTION: So it's not clear whether they traveled from Texas here as a group or individually or by twos and threes?
MERSHON: We don't know that yet.
QUESTION: Do you have any advice for members of the community who might be very fearful? MERSHON: Well, these individuals are involved in a very violent robbery and the murder of a police officer down in Texas. We know that. We believe them to be heavily armed and very dangerous based on the statements of the four individuals we have in custody. So we would ask the public to be very alert, but certainly to take no action themselves. We've heard this before: notify the nearest office of the FBI or the nearest police agency as possible.
The cooperation, I must say, extends far beyond Teller County and El Paso County and the United States Marshal Service. The Colorado State Patrol has been very helpful. We have, I would say at this point, virtually every police agency in the state involved and looking for there vehicle and these two remains subjects.
QUESTION: You know that they have been here since January 1st. Do you know...
MERSHON: That is -- that is our understanding.
QUESTION: ... anything more about their activities since then?
MERSHON: No, sir. No, sir.
QUESTION: Not -- they haven't said anything...
MERSHON: The subjects are still being debriefed or interviewed. So, that remains to be seen.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) did they say when registering at this trailer park?
MERSHON: Don't have that (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Sorry.
QUESTION: Some two weeks ago, there was a sighting in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Springs that brought out a flurry of police cars from Colorado Springs, two men apparently trying to check into a motel room there. They never found the vehicle that they were traveling in...
MERSHON: We don't know at this point whether that's related to this.
Folks, that's all the information we have. We appreciate your interest. Please get the message out.
CHEN: All right. To our viewers here on CNN, what you have been watching is a joint news conference by the sheriffs in Teller County and El Paso County in Colorado, as well as the local special agent in charge from the FBI, reporting on the events from Woodland Park, Colorado today.
If you are just joining us late today, here's what we have to report to you. The Texas Seven -- those inmates who escaped from a maximum security facility in Texas in mid-December -- four of those individuals were captured today by authorities in Woodland Park, Colorado, near a mobile home park where apparently they had been staying. Those are the ones that you see there: George Rivas, thought to be the ringleader of this group, Joseph Garcia, who's thought to be his lieutenant in the operation, Michael Rodriguez and Randy Halprin.
Now, Randy Halprin is the one who was inside the mobile home park with a fifth man, Larry Harper. He turned himself into police, gave himself up there, but told them that Larry Harper remained inside the mobile home park and that he wanted to speak with his father and before he would turn himself in.
Now authorities tell us that though they did try to communicate with Larry Harper by bull horn through the windows of the mobile home park, they heard a gunshot at 12:40 this afternoon, and then later moved in to find Harper dead.
We now want to move to Huntsville, Texas. We are anticipating here a statement from the Texas Board of Corrections. Let's listen.
LARRY FITZGERALD, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Irving Police Department, the other associated law enforcement agencies are pleased to announce that we now have accounted for five of the seven Texas fugitive escapees. We can confirm that George Rivas, Michael Rodriguez, Joseph Garcia, and Randy Halprin were taken into custody today at Woodland Park, Colorado. That happened early in the afternoon.
We have heard reports -- we are attempting to confirm that the -- Larry Harper has indeed taken his life in that trailer park. We are glad to see that the capture was taken without anybody being injured. We, of course, all the time feared that this could be a very ugly thing, because these are very dangerous people. We're pleased to report that this did not happen.
We'd like thank to everybody who's been involved in this effort: the FBI; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the U.S. Marshals Service; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and of course, Irving police.
Again, we are very, very pleased the situation has worked out as it has.
Right now, I would like to turn it over to the Irving Police Department for their statement.
DAVID TULL, IRVING, TEXAS POLICE: Thank you.
Just to echo what he said about thanks to all the agencies, we definitely want to thank the Texas Rangers involvement as well.
One thing that we do want to point out, this is not over yet. We do have five of the seven accounted for, as he stated. One thing we wanted to get out for public safety and officer safety as well, we're looking for an early '80s Ford Econoline van, three-tone brown. There's no ladder on the back, but it possibly has a spare tire. Apparently, there blinds that are visible through the windows, and it has heavy-duty tires and heavy-duty rims. It possibly has a temporary tag, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) red in color. Again, the tags can be changed, but that's the latest we have on that.
Apparently the two fugitives we're still looking for left the location of the trailer park, the mobile home community area shortly after 1 o'clock or around 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. So they've -- they've had quite some time to be on the road. Again, that's put out for public safety and officer safety awareness.
We're still looking for that vehicle. Be aware that that -- the information we have is that they are still armed and dangerous, and consider them that way.
Don't approach them. Get us the information. Information is what helped us lead to the capture of these -- these four and then finding the one that again barricaded himself and then did take his life.
Again, at this point, we do want to keep you all informed. We're going to let you all know when we're going to have something else. At this point right now, we've this is all the information we have.
We just wanted to make sure and not do a knee-jerk, get all of our information together and accurate so that no misstatements were made.
We appreciate your patience on that. We know we left you rather abruptly earlier today. Again, bear with us: We've got a lot of working here. Again, with these two still out there, the operation is still full-scale.
QUESTION: What led you to that? How did you find them?
TULL: We're not going to get into specifics exactly at this point as far as how we were led to them. It was a tip. It was the information we've been looking for.
Like we've said all along, all it's going to take is one phone call to get this moving. And that has worked our rather well. That's all I can really say on that as far as details.
More of this we should be able to get out to you. I can't put a timeframe on it. Again, bear with us on that, we're going to be as accurate as possible, and sometimes that takes time. There's not a particular schedule.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Is it your understanding that the two remaining escapees, is it believed they're still in the Colorado area, that all seven went there? What...
TULL: The way I phrased that is the best I can. They had -- they left between 1:00 and 1:30, thereabouts in the afternoon yesterday. They've been -- haven't been positively seen since that time.
So again, your guess is good as mine on that. There was something about "America's Most Wanted." I didn't see it where it came from.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) did it come through "America's Most Wanted" or (OFF-MIKE)?
TULL: That's about as far as I can go into it as far as detail. My understanding is that they were seen, and that was brought to the person's attention that did call in. And that's as far as I'll go with that at this point.
One more question and then...
QUESTION: What are you going to do with the other four?
TULL: Arrangements will be made for that. That's in process. Again, at this point -- I don't have specifics on that, but I feel assured that they will be transported, they will be in transit. And again, I -- we'll get more into that maybe, maybe later on.
I had a question here that I didn't catch but part of it.
QUESTION: Basically the same question. What's going to happen (OFF-MIKE)...
TULL: That's pretty much asked and answered at this point. We -- they -- again (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we're questioning them. We're talking with them, and transportation will be arranged. They will be brought back.
TULL: Again, at this point I can't tell.
QUESTION: Is the procedure then that there will be an expedition hearing?
QUESTION: Can you talk in the mike please?
QUESTION: Can you tell us what...
TULL: He's asking -- he's asking if it's going to be an -- he's asking if it's going to be an extradition proceeding. I would think that that's a yes. Again, that's things that again we don't have the details on right now. So bear with us on those.
Larry, did we have anything else?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) federal since they crossed state lines?
TULL: Again, we have federal agencies involved. I'll leave that to them to make that determination. Again, as far as details on the death of the one individual, I don't have those details at this time.
Again, I appreciate you all's patience. One more time, I ask you to bear with us. We will get the information and as we can confirm it. We're not going to be as quick as your individual reporting goes. So it takes us a little bit of time. So thank you very much.
CHEN: All right. To our viewers joining us here late this afternoon here on CNN, let's try to put together all the information we've been able to learn, confirmed in these last two conferences. From Huntsville, Texas, corrections officials there and local law enforcement in the state of Texas as well as the news conference just moments ago from Woodland Park, Colorado, where investors today say they have made the arrest of four of the Texas Seven.
Those would be George Rivas, who's considered to be the ringleader of the group, of the Texas Seven, Randy Halprin, Michael Rodriguez, and Joseph Garcia, who was thought to be the first lieutenant to Rivas in the operation that led seven inmates from a maximum security Texas facility to escape in mid-December, on December 13th. They've been on-the-run ever since. They have been involved in the shooting and the killing of a police officer in Irving, Texas on Christmas Eve. They are thought to have been very well-armed and very dangerous as they made their escape.
There had been many, many sightings reported. At least reported sightings have been phoned into authorities from various parts of the southwest and as far away as Canada and New York. But apparently from a tip from a viewer of the program "America's Most Wanted" on Saturday night, that viewer reported that he saw these individuals in this mobile home park in Woodland Park, which is very close to Colorado Springs, Colorado. He reported that to local authorities. They followed up, along with the FBI moving in on this tip. They had been observing the recreational vehicle park since mid-afternoon, and then moving in for full observation in the middle of the night.
They were able to locate four of the individuals and take them into arrests. A fifth individual, Larry Harper, who barricaded himself inside the motor home, where the group had been staying -- authorities did move in late this afternoon and found that Harper had shot himself in the chest and killed himself before negotiators were able to get him to turn himself in.
Now, the important thing at this hour is that two of the individuals involved in the original group of seven are still on the run at this hour. Those would be the men you see on your screen here: Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy.
Now, there have been different reports about the vehicle they were last seen in, so we'll give you the roughest description as we have heard it through these various news conferences by the different police authorities. It has been variously represented as a late-'70s to early '80s vehicle, a van, a conversion van, possibly a Ford Econoline van with a possibility that there may have been a tire on the back of it. No ladder but a tire on the back of it.
It is brownish or maroonish in color. It has either blinds -- either white blinds or white curtains in the windows. This vehicle and these two individuals have been missing since yesterday afternoon. And there's no clear indication of where these two men have gone.
Authorities say that the four men they have in custody now have been cooperating with authorities, and they have told authorities that the two men who remain on the run -- Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy -- are still armed and should be considered extremely dangerous. But the four who have been captured and who are now in police custody say that they will cooperate with them.
Authorities in Texas say they will probably move forward with extradition proceedings, if that is necessary, to bring the escapees back to Texas, where they will continue to face the justice of the Texas corrections system as well.
We noted earlier that a report had been made on the basis of a viewer of "America's Most Wanted." It apparently came from a viewer who had been living inside the recreational vehicle park. He said he saw them and then turned that report over to local authorities as well as to the television program itself.
Again, the most important information at this hour is that two men, Donald Newbury and Patrick Murphy, remain at-large. The vehicle they had been seen in, last seen in, was a conversion-type van, a maroonish, brownish vehicle -- late '70s, early '80s -- with temporary tags of an unknown state.
In the area of Woodland Park, Colorado, they have closed a number of offices as well as schools, and urged people to stay inside and stay out of harm's way as they continue to look for these two individuals. But again, authorities telling us that they have not been seen since midday yesterday, and it is not clear what direction these two individuals may be going. But they are urging people in Colorado and throughout this area to keep an eye out for them.
CNN is continuing to watch this. We'll bring you the latest live coverage whenever it comes to us.
We're going to take a break, and when we return, "INSIDE POLITICS" will be next. But stay tuned to CNN for all the latest live coverage of the continuing search for the two remaining escapees.
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