In this episode Steve interviews 39 year Houston Police veteran Chris Anderson. Chris worked patrol, homicide, SWAT, and the high risk surveillance team. He tells some great stories ending with his involvement in tracking down a robbery crew that utilized a sniper to take out armored guards. Check out his book linked below, available by ebook and paperback!
The Sniper: Hunting A Serial – A True Story
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this is things police see first-handaccounts with your host Steve goldladies and gentlemen welcome to thepodcast at interviews active and retiredpolice officers about their most intensebizarre and sometimes humorous momentson the job I am Steve Gould thank youtoday’s episode is a good one we have 39year veteran of the Houston PoliceDepartment Chris Anderson Chris has hada super full career obviously 39 yearsis a long-ass time to be a cop he was onpatrol he was on homicide he was on SWAThe was a involved in the high-risksurveillance team and he’s also writtena book called the sniper hunting aserial killer a true story which isreally fascinating he sent it to me totake a look at and it’s it’s got a bunchof great stories and it put itspecifically chronicles a robbery crewthat was utilizing a sniper to take outarmored guards and rob the truck so Ianticipate a very very interesting andfun episode with Chris he’s he’sawaiting on the other line here I haveto try to dial him in he’s had someissues with connections so I’m hopingthat this goes off without a hitchstandby on the momentum good Chris thankyou for coming on the show man of courseI mean come on 39 years Houston PD yougotta have a couple stories right it wasquite a ride 39 years Chris that is Iworked with a few guys that over at LAPDthat had similar length careers and Iwas like just astounding I mean you mustwhere did you start in your early 20syes so late seventies early 80s theywould hire people as young as 19 yearsold and so I was in college up in NewYork and I was 20 and there was a bigrecession no jobs available but Houstonwas hiring that’s how they ended up downherethat’s awesome man it seems like I justdid your intro briefly and seems likeyeah you had a lot of differentexperiences as well including a book youhave out now the sniper hunting a serialkiller a true story which in in and ofitself as a bunch of stories so yes myplan for today is I want to I want toask you some questions I want to getsome stories out of you and then morespecifically we’ll get into the book alittle bit and talk about this thisrobbery crew that you were part oftaking down is that sound cool yeahabsolutelyawesome very cool all right sir can youtell the listeners the first time youresponded to something you would youwould regard as a hot call so yeah likein 1981 when I was out when you come outof the Academy you go into the fieldtraining program you always start on dayshift and I think it was my first weekor maybe my second week we gotdispatched to a capital murder call it’sa 34th Street Q Club where the managerhad been beaten to death with a cuestick the night before and then theproceeds from the club had been stolenand so that would that was my first hotcall Wow and was he was he beat thenight before and then discovered in themorning that’s happened deal exactly yesexactly yes just remember his not to begraphic but his his teeth had been allknocked out and he was yeah he’s beenvery well dispatchedokay now I’m curious 39 years ago inHouston PD what do they have the new guydo are they do they make attempts tomake you more Callister get you exposedyou know over the expose perhaps youknow so I I started on the north side ofHouston and back then Houston was themurder capital of the countryI think our homicide rate wasapproaching eight or nine hundred thatyear so it was it was really off thehook for probably for several reasonsand on the north side in particular itwas pretty pretty tough so here I amcoming from a small town in New Yorkcollege boy and thrust into this almostlike a Wild West mentality it was it wasit was so much experience and it wassuch an over of overload you justyou had to adapt so you know they startyou off on de ship which tended to bekind of quiet and then after you kind offigured out hey I’m driving the policecar and had to get back to the stationthen they started bumping you up to theevening shift which was more domesticdisturbances report calls and thenfinally to the night shift which wasthat was one of all the pure lawenforcement happened you know the carchases you’re the fights all that sureabsolutely and how did you react to thiscollege you remember like on your waythere were you it was your heartpounding were you getting excited or ohyeah I can remember my my palms sweatingand you know maybe just a little bit ofa shake and but you know over over themonths and you know you kind of gethardened to that or you get used to theadrenaline and you just know just a justa day in the just another day in theneighborhood yeah absolutely I KemberI’m listening to radio traffic and youcan hear when someone’s new how theymight you can hear it in their voice ifsomething they’re going to somethingcrazy and then you know months or yearslater you hear the same officer and it’slike you know they’ll just they’lldescribe their call they’re going to andit’s horrific and there’s just it’s juststone cold you know they’re flat flatemotional so when I became a patrolsergeant years later you know I workedwith some very experienced officers butthat same officer who you know was he’dget him like stressed or at arrest youcould just you could hear just astraight a little slight change in thetone of his voice or something justwasn’t quite right and you could pick upright away that okay something’s goingon and it automatically starting westarted heading to that scene it wasit’s very subtle yeah absolutely theyjust a little maybe a little more highpitch maybe talking faster exactly yeahand those walk faster I know exactlywhat you mean you hear that that alwaysmakes the hair stand up on your neckwhen you hear that as a cop yes sirabsolutely Chris can you describe astrange or bizarre thing that you dealtwith a strange or bizarre thing that Idealt with don’t hold back don’t worryabout listeners don’t mind I okay so itjust kind of popped in my mind but whenI was a homicide detectivewe remember making us remember making ascene at aa hospital emergency room there’s yo bentaub kind of the county hospital andthere was a guy there they had him inthe emergency room and he was DOA andwhen we did the autopsy well they he hadbeen discovered just outside outside ofthe emergency room and they figured thatsomebody had just dropped him off whenwe did the autopsy they said oh yesforce trauma I mean it was terrible hewas in a terrible beating you know theyeven broke his hip you know it was justreally and we had we had no we had noinformation we had you know you know heywe found him out here laying out hereright by the back doors of the emergencyroom and my partner and I okay so reallywas anything to go on and I had thisproblem a lot of times at night when asa homicide detective I would just keepthinking about cases and I woke up inthe middle of that next night and Irealized I bet you he jumped off the topof the elevator shaft nearby so the nextday my partner and I went to the top ofthe elevator shaft and I’m kind ofafraid of heights I don’t enjoy him andon the very top and looked over and youcould see a perfect imprint in the grassnear the front door of the emergencyroom where he is he had landed then wegot a somebody who was a math expert andthey figured out the velocity he wouldhave to leave the top of that tower inorder to reach you know where his bodyfell and it would have been impossiblefor somebody to have thrown him off hewould have had to hatch we have run offso it was a it was a suicideoh man and when he hit he just stayedwhere he was right his boom yeah yeahI’m sure he bounced but he was it was amoral multiple stories man I’ve heard atleast there were stores lessor was somegrass involved I’ve heard cops talkabout sometimes in the cities when whenthey jump off of like a really highbuilding they literally yeah they justlike a blankyeah it’s it’s it’s not it’s not it’snot pretty it really using you know justthinking about that if I could justunless the first homicide scene I madeas a detective so I made sergeant when Iwas like 20four and I went to the Homicide Divisionfor several reasons yeah and one of thefirst things I made was a guy got offthe bus the Metro bus in the middle ofdowntown and he walked a few blocks andthen somebody stabbed him with a daggerright through the jugularat the base of his neck well the guy wasactually wanted by Interpol and he was ait was linked to the old IrishRepublican Army he was their arms and Ithink was just a straight-upassassination and somebody had targetedthe case was never solvedwow that’s but the IRA over here doinghits yeah yeah that’s that’s what itlooked like I mean nothing nothing no nomotive no nothing he got off the busjust a went around the corner andsomething hit him with a knife perfectyeah a dagger was a double-play twodagger wow that’s crazyare they um you don’t yeah you know intoday’s tumultuous world and news cycleyou don’t hear a lot about the IRAanymore they’re pretty much gone youknow they still for the most part youknow I know that they have there’s acouple of flare-ups but yeah the thiswas back so this is back in the early80s when there were maybe a little moreactive chorus right after I think the70s when they were when they were reallyI mean it was almost a small-scale warover and yeah over there yeah I rememberbeing crazy they were it was like theywere blowing up school buses anythingright right I mean just terriblecrazy Chris can you tell us about one ofthe most intense encounters orterrifying calls you’ve been on so youknow we were talking about how you canjust detect you know kind of a change inthe the voice on the radio of an officerso I was on day shiftI’m Sergeant and it was a disturbancecall at a sporting good wholesale placethat brings in Chinese imports and theyall survived there and he goes I needsome backup but the way he said it itwas more than he needed backup somethingbad was happening I mean really bad so Istarted dispatching units or you knowhey let’s go their code one sent a bunchof people there and when I arrived onthe scene there was an active shooterinside the inside the hallinside the business office shooting theplace up Wow yeah what it was is a itwas almost all people of age ChineseChinese Americans and one of the ladiesthat worked there her husband workedthere he was having an affair with hersister and everybody knew about itexcept for her and then when she foundout she went in and started she killedher she killed her sister and startedshooting at the other employees so whenI got when we get there you know we gother inside she’s shooting up the placethere’s still shots being fired a lot ofemployees are already out some of themare cowering inside their cubicles andso I just man I just took the pick ofthe litter the best officers that I hadthey’re the ones that were wearing bodyarmor we went in after her and as weclose in on her rounded the corner shesaw us first and she drop her gun so wetook her into custodyWow so this is an Asian female yeahsmall the Malaysian female I mean justnot your stereotypical active shooteryeah you know she was probably and I cansay this my my youngest daughter’sadopted from China she was it’s not thesame size you know eighty seven poundsfour foot elevenholy cow what kind of steel was shewielding she was shooting a Glock 26nine millimeter oh wow that’s uh that’sfreaky how many people did she tag shejust one just she just killed her sisterand then she started shooting you know Ijust wasn’t the best shot but it wasbullet holes everywhere Wow what yearwas this Kris oh man I got these let methink for a second I think it was an Iwant to say about 15 years ago I’mguessing I think I got a war award forit but I just don’t I don’t remember theYear offhand it wasn’t too long time youguys were then forming up at the doorand going in as like a little team andall that well no you know actually wasfurther back than that or was that itwas before Columbo okay but it was stillpolice departments were like hey youknow then active shooter or so let’slet’s set up a perimeterlet’s call SWAT and then we’ll go in andthen all that changed and it took a fewyears wherewhere you know you go in immediately andyou confront the shooter get between thethe shooter and the innocent citizensfor anybody else dies so there’s areally a shift in philosophy that SWATcould do everything to know you knowothers are saying that when when secondscount you knowswats only a half an hour away yeah it’strue especially a lot of most places inthe country have regional SWAT teams sothey’re not even full-time SWAT they gotto get their cars they got to get theirgear you know they all gonna meet up sowhere I’m from used to take you couldtake over an hour yeah in Houston has afull-time team and I can say that I cancriticize because I used to be part ofthe SWAT detail and they’re very good atsome of the things that they do and notso good at some of the things that arenot used to doing but even with afull-time detail that was we were onduty physically at work on day shift ifstill you know you have to make smokefrom all across the city go to that onelocation and there’s still at least ahalf an hour at least half an hour andthen even even then you have to wait forthe command structure to get there agentT to set up it’s it’s there’s a lot ofmoving parts first watching yeah yeah itdoesn’t always work out with today’sactive shooter profile that’s for surenopenope I used to be an active shooterinstructor and you know we would trainthe officers you know hey you knowthere’s actually a shift in priority oflife so before Columbine the priority oflife was you know at the academy theyused to teach the most important thingis that you the police officer go homesafely and then once you follow thatphilosophy then that means that there’sthe bad guy inside at school or businessyou know killing people then oh no I’mgonna surround it’s you know toodangerous I’m not gonna go in well afterthat then we have a shift of thepriority of life to check this outinnocent citizen first police officersecond and then suspects third all humanlife is valuable but when we craft atactical operation or when we’re makingtactical decisions that’s the priorityof lifewant to do much safest for the citizenssecond for the police officers and thethird for the suspects yeah yeah Iremember that Chris do you do you haveany stories of police encounters beforeyou work up if you don’t know I do soyeah so I guess I was 17 and I’mtransparent my friends and I beingteenagers maybe I was 18 and we were ina neighboring town and we may have had afew drinksand we got into a street fight with acommercial fisherman crew remember whatwas over doesn’t sound like a good andwe all got arrested and put into alittle 1800 you know it’s built in the1800s like a little brick house inGreenport with bars on it that had likethree or four cells and nobody tomonitor us and in fact it’s a museum tothis day and spent the night in jail andthen went to trial we were a local boyso you know we they actually dismissedthe charges but yeah I got arrested fordisorderly conduct fighting in thestreets wow that’s great that’s greatfor people to hear – for the for thelisteners is we have a lot of listenersthat are up-and-coming or they’reapplying the agencies right now and surewhen the emails thing at own time islike how valuable it is to hear someonewith your kind of experience kind ofkind of tell stories like that and giveadvice you know to what they can do orwhat what agencies are looking forbecause you know not everybody mostpeople aren’t squeaky clean you knowlike I know I know a guy in the statepolice back in Massachusetts who’s likea captain now and he was he had a sultanbetter than a police officer you knowbut I mean they looked into it but youknow sometimes those a BPOs can be kindof you know they go to cuff you and youpull away right you know so but um itdoesn’t mean it’s over for you you knowno Chris no I’m sorry no no finish yourfinish upon no uh you know I wasn’t asqueaky clean kid I mean you know I’mhuman being so I almost think thatpolice departments don’t actually theyyou know I think it’s dangerous to hiresomebody that’s just a you know that’snever having life experiences and whenyou start having life experiences andyou make decisions sometimes you makethe wrong decisions and as long as youlearn from those decisions that’s maybewhat the recruiters are looking for nowobviously if you’ve got a felonyconviction for you know something reallyserious that’s gonna that’s gonna be adeal killer but the minor stuff and youknow III see you sometimes there’scharacter development sure to some tosome extent when I worked for when I wasa BAC investigated for LAPD I more thana few times we’d sit down at lunch andwe’d kind of discuss what we had goingon and someone would always say like Igot this kid he’s he’s fine like he’severything checks out but you know whathe lives with his parents I don’t thinkhe’s ever been in a face never been in afight and he just kind of like just isexisting you know what I mean he’s likedone anything so you kid there’s nothingreally there for the standards to denyhim at the same time you have someserious reservations whether this kidsever mixed it up you know yeah Steve Iknow exactly what you’re talking aboutit he’s kind of the Walter Mitty typewhen I came through HPD the you know asyou’re in the when you’re in the Academyand then also just as your get out ofthe Academy you don’t have any CivilService protection and particularly inthe Academy the instructors were likeyeah you know that guy you’re talkingabout you know he’s just not cut out forthis you know in my book I called himthey would they would call the squirreland they would just you know he wouldjust disappear one day and you know thatthe staff was just like yeah and we’renot interested goodbye yeah so now it’sthings have changed but yeah you need tohave those life experiences you need tobe able to talk to people you need to becompassionate you need to make gooddecisions also as you learn yeah I meana big part of it is like you said lifeexperiences like there’s some like thefirst time you or any confrontation oryou get in a fighter or your life is indanger people react differently and youneed to get used to themmight not be the best time to be in fulluniform of the badge um for that to beyour first experience of confrontationyou know what I mean like because I goway overboard I remember fights incollege where no one had been in a fightbefore and they they go way overboard anMP pulled off somebody before they killhim it’s like calm down right it’s overbut they’re so afraid that they they’rehaving trouble stopping so yeah it’s awhole other dynamicoh good I agree with you I totally agreewith youso yeah there’s there’s that balance nowat the same time for several years I wasa proactive internal affairsinvestigator and so what we did is weorchestrated sting operations againstwhat we call the dope rippers policeofficers that were ripping dope frommid-level dealers and breasted severalofficers over the course of that part ofmy career and the command staff had mego back and do a an autopsy if you willon their background investigations tosee if there’s any red flags and in allthose cases there were some very big redflags that were overlooked and whatnotoverlooked they were just you know soIII think there were red flags they youknow they they Flint there’s a polygraphtest the they’ve been arrested multipletimes for dealing drugs particularly asjuveniles and or their close familymembers were involved in narcotictrafficking mmm so you know there’s athere’s a balance there there’s abalance sooner absolutely yeah I had onethat was um it wasn’t her but her herfather was a long time in Fort like 30year informant for the DEA LAPD and acouple of other PDS and he’d made a lotof money working but um she gave me yesright before she came in for herinterview with me he gave her hisdossier and she gave it to me and goes Ijust mad about this today and I go homeboy this is gonna be a whole can ofworms we’re gonna look it up did she gethired um I think she did eventually Ithink she’s workingmaybe not for LA but for theshe might be on the sheriff’s now so Ithink they know you’d be surprised huhyou’d be surprised how much in thosewell-placed informants can makeparticularly with the federal governmentmoney do you make per that he was makinglike a percentage you know he’s prettydarn good but no yeah if his work soyeah when I did corrupt cops and we setup sting operations for multi kilo loadsthe goin payment for the informant whocould do that was twenty thousanddollars if I could take out a corruptpolice officer that’s how much we wouldpay and this was back twenty years agomoney now you can you can make you knowfive times that Wow that’s not somethingI’d want to do but uh it’s it’s wellworth the money if we can get it doneyeahwell okay so let me touch back rest fora second so you know like Houston HPD’sgot over five thousand cops the vastmajority are hardworking honest men andwomen of character but within that groupthere’s a very small number that joinedthis apartment and for whatever reasonyou know to make quick money they’vehooked up with dope dealers and nowthey’re they’re ripping and coordinationyou know doing traffic spouse on dopeloaves or cashed loads and making aprofit very small a number but theyexist particularly in a largeorganization that I can walk to ofcourse yeah that’s um you know there Isaw some mean when they’re saying thatthe police officers on the biggestproblem is they’re human you know you’renot gonna you’re not gonna you can’tdemand perfection from you know fivethousand men right Cartman this is notgonna happenwell you know we’re we’re flawedsometimes I think in a big departmentit’s easier for some of those people toto get through the system we’re in asmaller department maybe there’s alittle bit more oversight or closerexamination maybe yeah I just know thelike what you’re talking about like thethe Walter Mitty types you know we wouldget him to HPD and if they got offprobationthey got Civil Service protection it wasa problem we’ve had some real we’ve hadsome real bad incidents and badshootings with people like you’re likeyou’re talking about yeah there’s someI’ve heard a lot about some like kind offailure launch type of thing where it’stime to go hands-on and the cops isstanding there watching his partner getyou know if you’ve seen it on New YorkPD that partner standing there watchingthe guy get his butt kicked and it’slike let’s do something right there waslike you know the the standard forpatrol officers when I came on was wascould you could you rely and depend onthis person what was he scared so itdidn’t matter what your race was or youryour your gender is this somebody thatyou could depend on that would back youup and so the you know the color wasblue and it didn’t make any differencewhat your skin color was or you know whoyou love that sort of thing it was couldwe depend on you Chris can we get intothe the meat and potatoes of your book alittle bit cuz I did I did do someperusing of it and it is fascinating andI think anybody who is into you knowpolice stories and many people are ifyou look at the amount of movies and TVshows her are for police this is a greatbook for that and you get into nuanceddetail about how you kind of pull thecurtain back on how to Pete how pd’soperate which is even for someone who’sbeen lots more enforcement it’s prettyfascinatingin particular the it’s kind of the waythe difference between admin and theguys doing the work on the road isfascinating because they have a wholepolitical side they have to deal withand a lot of times it seems like in thein your book it seems like you’re almostwhen the when a crew is being aggressiveand going after crime robbery stuff likethat it can almost create an annoyancefor the admin it’s something they kindof Welsh toogo away so Steve you nailed it so whathappened was like around 2014 Houstonbecame the commercial business robberycapital for the country we had morecommercial business robberies than anyother city even cities that were muchlarger than ours and the crew what wecall them robbery crews they were serialgang members and they were hitting againand again and again and they would theyhave a very sophisticated system and soat that time I was a sergeant over atactical unit they undercoversurveillance unit that really we’ve beendoing prostitutes and dope and I wasasked to come up with a new method totarget these robbery crews and becausemy experience with proactive IAD Istarted well I hooked up with the ATFand the FBI but I started using trackingdevices and tracking the vehicles thatthey would use to help facilitate theserobberies not the getaway car which wasgoing to be always be stolen but what wecall like the shot-caller the guy thatwas sitting in the parking lot on hiscell phone calling in the robbery crewto hit the the bank or the cash store orthe pickup crew that was going to pickup the hijackers after they they fledthe scene and went a couple blocks anddumped their stolen truck and jumpedinto a car to make their getaway if Icould figure out what those even one ofthose vehicles were then I would get anytracking order and like she went in themiddle of the night they can go in andput a tracking device on that vehicleand I knew as long as I followed thatvehicle it was eventually gonna lead meto a another in-progress robbery verycool is there um when you’re saying theFBI ATF stuff like that is that I workfor a smaller agency and it was alwayslike I just am like uh as soon as a bankrobbery or a bank was threatened at allthe FBI were notified just we were Idon’t know that was cuz we were small oris that kind of just a national rule nothat that’s in Houston too so like youknow bank robberies the FBI will makethe scene or FBI TFO is which areactually police officers that areassigned to the FBI to work inconjunction with them my situation was alittle differentI had a 12 million team and I actuallyhad an FBIi agent assigned to or attached to meand to hcf agents attached to methe ATF was great they they gave me like10 different tracking devices tentracking devices so I was trackingmultiple vehicles and there’s I’m not Iwould go home on Friday come and readthe recap and over the weekend just inmy area on the north side of Houston wewould have like 32 or 38 aggravatedrobberies of businesses during thattheir next two or three days it was thatit was that big and and these are allthe same crews hitting or differentcrews but you know they’re hitting a lotof businesses you know every every weekor two as they wanted to make money someof them were pretty easy to do some ofthem were very very sophisticated Wowand are these all banks are they juststores and jet commercial stores ingeneral no so you know it seems likethings would go in and out of favor theydon’t really want to do banks becausethat definitely brings in the FBI andthere’s all kinds of security protocolsconnected with banks and their vaultswhat they would do more so is the likecash doors are here in Houston they’revery prevalent and then the big pawnshops that were nationwide because theywould have policies against theiremployees carrying weapons and thosewere good places for them to get a lotof cash you know the gun to the managerget into the safe and get the money nowpawn shop Houston with unarmed employeesthat doesn’t make sense to me at allwhat’s good yeah yeah cash America orgood big places like that they havepolicies where their employees can’tbelong now they may be able to have a anassigned security guard but that doesn’tnecessarily happen in every store allthe time and so okay well you know we’vebeen watching this cash America and theydon’t have a security guard and theybring in a robbery crew they hit it getwhat they can and they’re out of thereokay so that makes sense these arecorporate doors this isn’t like themom-and-pop you swap each other’scorrect they don’t hit the mom-and-popshops because they lose their head Ithink it shot no friend of a friend ofmine here robbery crew came up to out ofHouston just in the north side ofHouston to a jewelry store mom-and-popjewelry store some friends of mine andtheythey robbed it and the hijacker they gotinto a gunfight with one of thehijackers and my friend killed him anak-47 whoa quite a horrific scene yeahreally yeah you know that’s a nightmarefor any Robert and guy comes out theneikei so you know reading into my bookthe what happened was we knew that therewas a a robbery crew that was using asniper always suspected a sniper and youknow when we talk about hitting banksthere’s so much you know securityprotocolsbut when a armored truck arrives at abank and then and then they transitionedto carry the money into the bank theguard is vulnerable and he’s alsocarrying money bags or he’s servicing anATM machine and so what this robberycrew would do is they had a sniper and aspecially modified concealed concealedkind of vehicle with a sniper loopholecut in the back and they would shoot theguard from you know like a hundred yardsoff knock him down and then the pickupcrew would run in grab the money bagsand go so you know we had a couple ofthose cases where the homicideinvestigators thought now they couldn’taccount for where the killing shots camefrom and so they had a working theorythat there was a sniper crew working tohit these armored truck couriers wellthe realization that there might be asniper involved must have freaked peopleout that would freak me out that’s likewhoa this is a big problem well it was asecret no it was a secret well I was itwas confidential information within thehomicide investigators a few FBI agentsand because I had been a homicideinvestigator and actually my captain hadbeen a homicide investigator we had kindof heard some information particularlyafter one or two that one of the casesat least was in our area and so it waswe just suspected it and the homicideinvestigators suspected but nobody couldprove it because we they didn’t have anyvideotape or where the sniper had beenor where the shot came from or evenwhich vehicle may have been used it wasjust a just a hunch the theory Wow Imean if you’re if you’re willing tocommit to cold-blooded murder it’s avery most must have been very effectivefor them because it just takes theproblem out right away and it must havebeen I mean they must haveI mean witnesses must have been like theguy just fell down or you know whateverthey’re just yep yeah and I and we alsosuspected they were using a suppressor asilencer but even before they the samecrew proven before they started using asniper they kind of evolved they did adid a capital murder of a armored truckon Westheimer in 2015 then they got amillion dollars and then they laid lowfor a while and they started popping upagain and what they did in those casesthey would do straight-up assassinationsyou know close range shoot the guardmultiple times within a day or 15 andthen grab grab the moneybags and thenafter that they transition to using thesniper that came that much that muchmore sophisticated Wow yeah these theseguards man they don’t get enough creditthey kind of they kind of get poke onthat you know and like when you look atwhat they have you ever seen ad for aguard position they make like $11 anhour and they’re expected to its minimumwage yeah carry a firearm and defend thedefend the truck and I was reading inthere in your book there there was wasit Marvin there was a guy that a guardthat was real had he died but no Melvinreal honorable on defense of a truckMelvin Melvin more he was delivering toa bank on airline Drive gets shot goesdown and the pickup crew runs in to pickhim up to pick up the money bagsthinking that he was deadMelvin was fatally wounded but he stillhad a lot of fight in him and he gotback up on his feet and shot uh one ofthe guys trying to get the money bags atclose range and they did he started therobbery ultimately he died and he was anolder man too he was in his 50s I meanhe was getting close to retirementit was very very sad yeah god bless hissoul man that’s uhyou see Gotham the this team that wasdoing this the sniper team were theyparrot were they ex-military what wastheir deal like whoa how did this um didyou ever get the genesis of how theyformed in like so what happened was weassumed that if somebody had some snipertrainingwe had an informant come in and he saidI think I know who may be behind theseand he started talking a little bit andof course the informant was a hisspecialty was home invasion and the wordon the streets was that this particularcrew was said about him in dollars fromthe for like 2015 and he was trying tofind he knew the ringleader or hethought the ringleader and he’s tryingto find out where that guy lived and hecould do a home invasion they get thatmaybe that million dollars well heconnected with him but he can neverfigure out where he lives so he did thenext best thing he came to us and saidhey I’ve got some information and assoon as he said yeah he they killed theguards from a distance with a scopedrifle and nobody else knew about youknow sniper or anything and he knew thatthat was a hot that was hot informationand this guy was up for a real war rightoh yes he he yes he’s a lot of money Istole he’s and like you said he’s he’sstill working but he gave us a name orpart of the name and we were able topiece it together and I got trackingorders for all the vehicles that wasassociated with him and his girlfriendand all interesting when we did kind oflike kind of research on the propertiesthat he owned in the last year or twoeven though he was unemployed he hadbeen buying up properties and houses infact he had put his girlfriend up in ahouse that he had just bought where didhe get the cash anyway we were able toput tracking devices on his his vehiclesvery cool that’s that’s always excitingthe GPS transponders on someone likethat’s vehicle I remember guys theysneak in at night they run in and thenthe lights come on they really arethat’s exactly it’s a lot morecomplicated than you think and hopefullyit is parked out in the yard or in adriveway where you can get up underneathit without getting shot yourself becauseyou’re in plain clothes it’s the middleof night you look like to all the worldlike a car burglaryeah we’re hopefully they don’t gogetting I goes hey what is this thing onyour car did you did you read the book Ijust skimmed it no did that happen yeahso you know we’re tracking this guy hisname his name redbrick batiste didn’tknow if he was a sniper we knew he waspart of a teamprobably the ringleader and we saw himdrive around scouting banks and tryingto figure out the the delivery of thethese armored trucks and had trackingdevices and we had to do service thetracking devices I actually have threetracking devices on his one time abackup to the backup to the backup acertain thing and you know we watched abank and then he went and got his Jeepserviced and next thing you know I’mlooking and he’s you know you can seethe chief up on the list he’s in thewaiting room and but thing aboutBautista was so alert he would alwayslook at the doorway going in and out ofthe you know wherever he was like arestaurant or in this case the waitingroom so his back was towards his cheapso I went in there with him and I satdown opposite him where I could see hisJeep and I saw that the mechanics youknow they know it’s up on the lift theylook up and they can see the I can seethe tracking devices from where I’m atand so I quickly walked into the servicecenter and there’s the manager and Isaid hey man showed him he kind ofcarefully showed him my ID where petitescouldn’t see me and then I quicklyexplained like a tracking device is allover his vehicle he’s a serial killercan you help me out don’t don’t let youremployees let him know and he goes manno problem and he took care of it andwithin 10 minutes the Jeep was down andBattiste was driving off and we werestill in operation oh my goshI mean you then you gotta think thewhole time at night you know you’re athome trying to sleep a million thingsgoing in your mind you’re like is thisguy gonna flap his gums this mechanicyou know yep he was good it was it wastowards the end it was really goodyeah you know the whole time we wefollowed this guy around for four monthswell just close to four months and Ipretty much knew where he was at everyevery moment between tracking devicespole cameras and just looking you knowjust trying to put it together and wewere finally able to when he settled ona bank that he was going to they weregoing to commit a you know sniper hitand he started bringing out other peoplefrom this crew that cell phone analysishad shown maybe he was going to and youknow we actually had to go through witha sting operation with a decoy armoredtruck and a lot of moving parts and weweren’t exactly sure who the sniper wasand at the very end of the very end ofthe moment very end of the operation wefigured out it was going to be rhetoricbatiste and when we closed him to takehim down there’s a lot more trial in thebook sure we ended up with him he waskilledyeah he know you and I both know you canit’s not hard to be good marksman at ahundred yards with a with a rifle yeahespecially the guys that I was afirearms instructor for years and I thetroops are oh he’s so surprised and theypicked up they are 15 and fired a couplerounds and they go holy cow this thing’syou you know I mean doing it in the newscenario this guy’s doing it in is adifferent story you’re like in an urbanenvironment but that being said was thisguy have any special training was he orwas he just like a gun enthusiast no nohe was a gun enthusiast he had his ownpersonal gunsmith and after every hit orassassination that he would do he wouldgo to his special gunsmith who happen tobe a fireman and he had the barrelpulled and a new barrel pudding so wedidn’t figure that in until we got intohis cell phone you know after the wholeoperation actually the FBI agent Iworked with he did that and but he wasvery very intelligent very methodicalalways thinking throughthings when they did use so I don’t knowif you see it in the book but he had areally unique way of stealing vehiclesthat would be that would never be linkedback to him he would have a female proxyrent a vehicle like say from enterpriseshe would then deliver it to him hewould see if he liked it he put atracking device his own tracking deviceon the vehicle give it back to her she’dreturn it and then the next timesomebody else rented the vehicle and wasout and about he would then go and stealit because he had a tracking device onit and then he had it you know there wasno nothing that really connected him toit and then he would change the platesout it was just another layer ofseparation so they would never go backto the through that female hey you knowyou rented this car it was somebody elsewho had rented it and that’s how hestole vehicles he put tracking deviceson on rental vehicles and so towards theend of the operation we actually had hehad a tracking device on a Jeep Cherokeeas opposed to the Jeep Wrangler that hedrove all the time and we had to put ourown tracking device on it so now we’vegot he’s got a tracking device on it Ihave a tracking device on it and when werented pretend to rent it back out againwe took it over to Ellington Air ForceBase and the FBI flew down a specialteam from from Washington and they putanother tracking device on it but moreimportantly they put a a you know aaudio system and a camera system hiddencamera system microphone system in theJeep Cherokee all within about eighthours and then we put it back at it in ahotel where he then stole it and now wehad all kinds of good information yeahwhat what um what’s what is the profileof this guy like what is his historywhat is like his psychological state ofmind so you know he had arrest recordhe’d been in federal prison for firearmsviolations a lot of marijuana cases someass all cases carrying a pistol case butnot not to the extent of some of theother criminals you would think I meanhe had he had goodbut wasn’t that bad he was veryintelligent he was a very he was a bigreader but he was also he was a radicalhe was very much involved in some of themore radical black revolutionary groupsand he had been I think where he got thewhole idea of using a sniper hidden in avehicle shooting through a porthole wasthrough the DC sniper case he would hewould also write letters to convictedcriminals who had killed police officersthanking them for their service so hewas he was not your typical street thughe was he was at a he was in a differentlevel yeah sounds like it in his hiscrew handpicked by him yeah they wereall connected they’re all older men andthey had pretty much either grown up orthey he knew them personally for manyyears so yes some of them what theseother guys would do was they would actas the pickup crew or driving the pickupcrewed you know pick up the moneybagsafter the guard was dead helping withthe surveillance or doing outerperimeter surveillance overwatch as theydid their operations making sure therewas no law enforcement in the area sothere’s a lot of moving parts unique tothis team though there was that the guythat actually would jump out of thevehicle they drove up to the dead ordying guard to get the money bagz was acrash dummy have you ever used heardthat term beforeno so a crash dummy is an expendableperson that they would connect withdown-on-his-luck and say hey dude wejust need you to jump out of this grabthat bag and come on in come come backto the car with it and we’re going togive you $10,000 but all the crashdummies that they used in the previouscases disappeared and we have there’ssome information that all those crashdummies in order to keep you know youknow loose ties loosely loose lips sinkships were killed later on in order toensure their sonsand so they were real psychos I meanthat’s you want to think it is real realvicious yeah Wow and they both real realvicious real yeah it’s not like the youknow you have a robbery something walksin and you know the clerk puts upresistance and they’re fighting and theyshoot the clerk this was you knowstraight-up assassinations you knowgarden armored car guard gets out getsthe money bag starts walking in and andhe’s down he’s dead and they’re comingin to steal the money Wow another levelof ruthlessness yeah you said they keptit secret when they you guys kept asecret which was very obviously verysmart to do when you thought it was asniper you know people would beterrified and Brightwood it wouldtotally screw up your investigation alsobut um right was there any was there isthere always a way how do i phrase thisI don’t know much about friends bulletforensics and stuff but is there alwaysyou can’t always tell what calibersomeone was shot with or it would didthat play into itno that’s yes it did so we knew thatseveral the guards have been killed with223 three or 5.56 probably from an ar-15so we knew we were dealing with somebodywith a rifle rifle so that was that wasknown yea they they’re using a ar-15 orsomething that’s chambered in that inthat caliber but the projectiles frommultiple victims did not come from thesame barrel and it was only afterwardsthat we found that he was every time hekilled somebody he would he would havethe barrels pulled and a new one and hadthe barrel replaced by his his gunsmithso he’s hoping if he does get caught youwon’t be able to pin them all to himbecause he can say well you know show methe bear like that bullet came fromthat’s everything that’s why we took theinvestigation to really right up to thepoint where we knew that he had therifle in his possession we knew that hewas really smart and very very cautiousand we doubted that he kept his rifleinside of his houseyou know where we might be able to get afirst search warrant and then also youknow baby blanket ballistically we justdidn’t know because he was just he wasso he was so alert and so that duringthe entire investigation we’re workingvery closely with federal prosecutorsand we would discuss it you know man youknow do we do we roll the dice we haveenough for a search warrant but if wemiss the rifle or we missed the you knowbecause this guy’s not gonna talkprobably well maybe he will but we don’tknow that and if that’s the case youknow we don’t have a case and so wereally had to wait until we had all theducks in the basket and we knew for surethat the rifle was out in the fieldwhere we could link it to other casesokay and when you guys when you forcedthe confrontation let’s say at thebefore you hope you got him was it washe in in the beginnings of doing anotherjob or how did that go down oh yeah nothey were lined up to kill anotherguards they’ve been watching the energybank in GracePoint for about a month andthey were working to lock down theschedule the approximate schedule of thearmored truck the Loomis armored truckthat delivered there and we knew wecould tell because as long as the youknow the sniper vehicle what we call thesniper vehicle that they used was stillsitting which is another part of thestory in the book at an apartmentcomplex carefully hidden away that therewas not a sniper attack that was goingto be imminent or that the other workingparts of the crew weren’t present at theabout three days before the operation wegot at e3 up and so we were able to hearsome of the information you know we hadto kind of break down the code becausethey were talking code but they actuallydid a dress rehearsal like on Mondaywhere they brought everybody out but weknew it was just a dress rehearsalnobody had guns none of the bad guys hadguns they were just guys you know inthis general area and then we knew thefollowing Wednesday was the day that theLoomis truck was scheduled to come so webrought in our own we borrowed a Loomistruck and actually about a month beforeone of my undercover guys was driving itit’s as long as he doesn’t get out he’ssafe and we had him parked neckto the bank like he was going to delivermoney and while the rest of us are inbalance and we got our teams you knowset up ready to go we had they threw usfor a loop because we thought that thesniper was going to be in the two guysare going to be in what we call theslammer but they had actually switchedvehicles they had repented that vehicleand it was the cheap cherokee and it wasred Ric batiste who he thought was justgonna be the you know kind of theringleader but he was also the sniperand at the very last I mean just minuteswe realized that they had switchedvehicles and we kind of had to reshuffleour tactical teams and it was a littlelittle boggle down but we knew it wasgonna be a shootout and it was oh mygoodness they talk about some heartburnman whoo that’s yeah well like you knowyou talk about after you know 30 at thatpoint I have 37 years in HPD and mostlydoing sting operations and SWAT andhomicide and proactive IEDs so it wasjust like I say it was another day itwas definitely a probably one of thehigh points in my career but it was verymethodical and very it was it went wellit was a it was good I happen I’m notbragging but the FBI thought highlyenough that Christopher Warren they flewme up to Washington DC and I got the FBIdirectors Award for Excellence alongwith the the FBI agent that was involvedin a few others it’s awesome that’s socool though yeah yeah my wife enjoyed itwe got to do that tourist thing inWashington yeah yeah but then I had towear a suit and a tie so I’m not a suitand tie a t-shirt and blue jeanshere’s this interesting yeah that’s athat is well it sounds like it happenedat the perfect time in your careeryou’re ready for it you know that’s yeahthe problem was that that I was doing alot of commercial business robberiescrews and there was a lot of politicalwhat I’m doing is I’m following arobbery crew and or potential robberycrew or somebody that’s linked to arobbery crewnow I’m in a parking lot at a pawn shopand I’m watching a guy and all of asudden I don’t realize but he’s callingit a robbery crew and a robbery crew isrolling in and now they’re hitting apawn shop right in front of my you knowmy team so how do I handle that do I tryand arrest them at the scenedo I let them get in their vehicles andthen have a big high-speed chase or do Itry and take him out maybe as they runfrom the store back to their getaway carand you know with priority of life youalways want to protect innocent citizensso it was always my positionyou know maybe from SWAT you know wedon’t we we keep the perimeter and wehold them in there and then we’re endedup confronting a lot of suspects withguns in their hands and there’s a lot ofthere’s a lot of gunplay yeah I canimagine I have to wonder with these guyslike this sniper how much of it they getfrom movies you know cuz I’ve seen a fewmovies where there’s guys in a van witha portal or there’s an automated weaponin there that’s gonna shoot thepresident or you know the kind of lifelife replicating art or whatever theycall it it’s right you know cuz you seethose movies some of their ideas you’relike well that’s a really good idea thatwould work yeah and then you see peopledo itwell read Rick batiste was a reader heliked to read and research and he was hewas into the you know the black radicalarena and I believe that he got it fromthe DC sniper which had maybe those guysor at least the leader of that teamthat’s a similar mindset even though theDC sniper they were just shooting peopleat random rhetoric matisse took thoseideas that he saw from the DC sniper andthen applied it to you know let’s make alot of money sort of thing yeah yeahhe’s good have been fit himself to theDC sniper was that – was that the onewho the guy trained on video games orhad a kid he had trained on video gamesto help him or something like that yesyeah yes yes like they usually like abeat-up old Buick and they had cut ahole in the trunk and they would shootout the – down the backyeah they shot up quite a few people butthere was this was purely politicalwhereas rhetoric batiste was you knowputting money in his pockets the a oneof the film companies that works forNetflix they were interested in doing amovie on the book and one of the yeartheir executives flew down fromManhattan to talk to me but she had donea lot of research on the DC sniper andyou know the political mindset and allthat and that was her take that you knowthis was she was quite certain that thisis where this crew got those ideas theyran in some of the same circlespolitical thinking or ideology yeah thatmakes sense and so do we have miniseriesor movie to look forward to Chris youknow and you not talked about it theonly thing I have control no no I canI’ll talk about it you know aftercoronavirus and then now you see allthese cop shows being canceled becauseof the current political state I don’tknow that anybody’s gonna be investing alot of money into it possible but youknow into cop stories in the near futureso I don’t know yeah I was lookingreally good there for a while but yeahthat’s probably the opposite I wasactually talking to buddy of mine who’sactually been a guest on the show he’s aSan Francisco cop and he was he had agood point he’s like you know we’reprobably gonna see a lot of anti copmovies we’re gonna see a lot of dirtycop movies yeah that’s what um yeahHollywood’s gonna pump out which is IIIibelieve that’s correct and you know andI don’t have a like I said I used to bea pro lack of internal affairsinvestigator so I know there’s there’sbad cops out there just like you saidyou know we recruit from the human raceand humans are flawed flawed creaturesbut I think you’re right I don’t thinkwe’re gonna see you know cops beingportrayed as good guys but we’re gonnafeed into that now this new mindset thatthe cops are almost our enemies orsomething to disdain it’s it’s a verysad state of affairs yeah the the amountof manipulation I get into it all timebecause it just is so irritating to mebut the the twisted facts and the peoplelies about the police basically and youknow the police have been so reformedand all these things they’re trying towhom they think they’re introducingthese new ideas about chokeholds and useof force continuum they’re already inplace this is you know yes uselesspandering by the media it’s like what doyou do in this pandering so did you knowhow long soak holes have been outlawedin Houston by the Houston PoliceDepartment selects forty years I meanthough we don’t we don’t use chokeholdsthe only time you can use a chuckleyou’re actually justified in usingdeadly force because that was your onlyoption you know right but no there thereare no chuckles so yeah and then I heardrumors that you know now you know beforeyou actually shoot a suspect you have togive verbal warning which may be to theuninitiated sounds all that’s reasonableyou know the police should say yeahplease sir drop your gun but sometimesyou know because of you know closedistance and he’s already shooting atyoursyou know actually beats reaction and youknow in fear of your life you don’tnecessarily have that ability Chris tellme this is a lie that I read that DallasPolice Department was talking aboutdisarming their police well I thinkthere’s all kinds of rhetoric but Ican’t imagine that Dallas Texas come onyeah Dallas had five officers killedloves it in 2019 you know and they hadfive officers killed by a gunman youknow so when you hear this you know youknow disband the police departments andyou know disarmed your police it that’sjust you know way left-wing rhetoric youknow yeah there’s always room forpolishing the cannon ball and making thepoliceman but you know better and moreprofessional and I see that with an h pdh pd was is totally differentorganization when I joined it in 19811981 it was all a lot of white males andkind of a almost like a little bit of aredneck attitude and you know in thosealmost 40 years it’s been totallytransformed it’s much betterorganization yeah yeah it’s it’s it’smost major PDS I like that I mean forgoodness graciousLAPD MAit’s its employees the officers afterthe population so the majority policeofficers are Latino second is white thenblack so it’s like it’s a minoritycontrolled driven Department so the thethe racism narratives are kind of likepeople don’t know that is the problemand they talk about it but you know thewhole thing is just it’s frustrating andTexas confuses me because I love Texasand I love how they you guys are almostalmost oh you’re almost like an inchaway from becoming your own republic butit also confuses me because we’re hopingyeah I know there’s but also parts ofTexas are very liberal so it’s like Imean that I remember going to a weddingin Austin and it’s a cool city and Iremember I remember like you would seelike the hipstery people but then youwould also see like dually pickup truckDiesel’s with horns on the front youknow 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots andmy buddy said you’ll those are theranchers they kind of live outside thecity and they come into my city forstuff but those are like the people whowere originally here and they’re kind ofannoyed right with with all this otherstuff yeah so Austin is the most liberalof the Texas citiesyeah and then it’s probably toss-up nowbetween Dallas or Houston and then SanAntonio but those are all big metroareas and that’s that’s the trend youknow the rest of Texas is very veryconservative very conservative I meanyou know you’re right and there’s alwaystalk about you know you know Texas needsto be its own nation and you know UnitedStates is kind of split apart who knowsyeah they said you know Texas is bigenough for every American in thiscountry to have one acre land it’s big Imean if you go from it’s like it all daydrives like 1,000 miles across you knowthe whitest part it’s it’s crazy andit’s it’s a great place to live Texansare enormous ly fond of their statethey’re proud of it I never saw thatreally in New York when I lived therebut Texans are a different breed yeahabsolutelymy buddy said he one time when he livedin Texas for a long time and he I meanhe has he said you know he left his TUChis heart in Texas he loves the placebut he said he saw Texasget into an argument with uh with anOklahoma guy you know he goes yeah theparting words were you don’t know whatthe hell you’re talking aboutOklahoma’s nothing but a damn hat forTexas you can’t that’s funny Texanthat’s greatyeah when I when I came down from NewYork it was a little hardest it wasn’tthat hard but I had to assimilateparticularly on night shift you know Imean cuz these are all tied in the worldTexans and I’m from New York with alittle bit of a New York accent backthen yeah yeah and they would still talkabout the Civil War they would call itthe War of Northern Aggression and Imean it’s not what I learned in thehistory books though but yeah it workedout okay but it was a little it’s alittle tough there I was a littletransition wow I bet that is that isinteresting man um Chris thank you somuch come on the show I have one morequestion for if you got a second I justI just want you to give vom absolutelyjust give some advice to the to the theyoung copper or the person going throughthe process right now do you have itsome sage advice for these young folksgetting into the profession now well youknow if you’re trying to get into theprofession be persistent when I joinedbefore I joined HPD I had applied toother agency he’s up in the Northeastand oh this is hard I mean I had to bepersistent I had to kind of I ended upfrom New York own down the Texas so ifyou really want to be a cop you know youmay have to you know keep searching andkeep searching keep applying keepsearching and then beyond that if you’rea young cop I always always do the youknow do the right thing and sleep goodat night so when you’re on that sceneand there’s temptation or there’s a youknow the momentum is building and youyour to use too much force you stay inpolicy stay in the law you know you knowuse your moral compass in that way thatnight you’re you know you’re you’re goodand you’re you sleep well and that’swhat I always try and do it I always tryand find follow my moral compass even ifit was sometimes at odds with theadministration which is another storyexcellent I love it and the book thesniper hunting a serial killer a truestory written by Chris Anderson workingfolks picked this upthe best place so you can get it inAmazon but right now Amazon only has iton Kindle and I think on July 27ththey’ll have the softcover but if you goto store sto our eBay being calm that’smy publishing service and you can get asoftcover edition from there if that’swhat you what you want there’s a lot ofstories besides the sniper leading up toit it’s like 560 pages so but people saythat they really enjoy reading it andonce they start reading it they can’tput it down that’s awesome man that’sgood yeah I know the feeling I wasreading it last night and it’s it’sfascinating for sure so a also the linksfor this book will be in the show notesand also I’ll put them on the websitethings police c-calm so you can go overthere check it out you can you know youcan share those links once the once theshow is up but Chris Anderson thank youso much for coming on the show man Ireally appreciate it well thank youSteve I enjoyed it all right I’m gonnarun the outro bumpers here and then willyou hang on the line yeah absolutelyhey guys I hope you enjoyed the episodeif you’d like to support the show goover two things police c-calm when youget on the website there’s a fewdifferent ways you can show some supportyou can donate directly you can do aone-time donation or a monthly donationeven a buck helps us keep the lights onover here pays our expenses for themonth is greatly appreciated you canalso just use our Amazon affiliate linkif you just want to buy something onAmazon like you normally do just do itthrough our link and we’ll get a littlekickback for that so you can go to thewebsite and do that or in the show notesI’ll put a link you can just click rightthrough that link and the third way isyou can buy some buy some merch so wehave coffee mugs we have t-shirts men’sand women’s and we also have hoodiesweatshirts now so go over two thingsplease see calm and check it out you canalso just listen to the podcast there oryou can apply to be a guest to scrolldown to and click on be a guest and whatyou want to do is just give us a briefsynopsis of your of your service howmany years you were on the job and justa very brief idea of the stories you’dlike to share and I will get right backto you so thank you for listening andwe’ll catch you next timeyou[Music]English (auto-generated)