College Station shootout a grim reminder of dangers officers face evicting tenants


by Tim Wetzel / KHOU 11 News

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 5:40 PM

College Station shooting

View larger map

HOUSTON – For many in law enforcement, Monday’s deadly shootout in College Station was a grim reminder of the dangers officers can face when they show up at someone’s home with bad news.

Brazos County Precinct One Constable Brian Bachmann was serving an eviction notice to Thomas Caffall at a home near the Texas A&M campus when police say Caffall opened fire.

Bachmann died at the scene. Another man was also killed and several others injured before officers were able to fatally shoot Caffall.

But as shocking as the scene was, lawmen face danger on the job every day, behind every door they approach.

"It’s probably one of the most unpredictable scenarios you can be in," one Harris County Precinct Five deputy constable said of serving eviction notices.

Deputies in Harris County said they wear bulletproof vests and take their weapons every time they serve a notice – just in case.

KHOU 11 News accompanied them on a few runs Tuesday.

During one, when the officers served an eviction notice at a home in foreclosure, they arrived to find the place empty, with no tenant in sight.

Then, they went to an apartment where no one was home, but the unit was full of furniture.

Deputies used a camera to document everything that was there. They said all of the belongings will be moved to a warehouse, where the evictee will have to pay to get them back.

But the hardest part, according to deputies, is when people are involved.

At one home the deputies visited, a family said they were paying rent to a relative, but they didn’t realize the relative wasn’t paying HOA fees.

A woman who lived in the home was forced out and, for the deputies’ safety, wasn’t allowed back in.

After a loud confrontation, the eviction ended peacefully.

But just like what happened in College Station Monday, sometimes an eviction notice can be too much for a tenant to take.