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News Break

12/09/2003 05:25:07 EST

Two Officers Killed in S.C. Standoff
Associated Press Writer

A father and son angered by a state plan to seize some of their land allegedly shot and killed an officer who went to the home, sparking a 13-hour standoff that ended in a "horrendous gunfight" in which another officer was killed, authorities and neighbors said.

At least 100 officers surrounded the rural home of Arthur Bixby in western South Carolina on Monday. Bixby's wife then holed up in an apartment in town and threatened to shoot bystanders if her husband or son were injured; she was
promptly arrested, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said.

It began Monday morning when a magistrate's officer went to the house in a rural part of the state to follow up on an incident from the previous week involving a dispute between Department of Transportation workers and someone from the
house, officials said.

When the officer failed to return, two deputies went to the Bixby home looking for him.

What happened next is unclear, but the deputies called for help and law enforcement officials surrounded the home, and the standoff began.

Eleven hours later, officers unsuccessfully tried to storm the home and were shot at with powerful weapons, Stewart said.

"I've never seen so much force," Stewart said. None of the family members tried to negotiate with officers during the standoff.

"This was planned," Stewart said.

The gunfight lasted about 10 minutes and police fired tear gas inside the home. Bixby's son, 36-year-old Steven Bixby, surrendered. Two hours later, officers entered the home and arrested Arthur Bixby, who apparently was wounded in the
gunfight. He was hospitalized and his condition was not available early Tuesday.

No formal charges had been filed as of early Tuesday.

At some point during the standoff, the Bixbys destroyed two remote control robots authorities sent into the house to figure out what was happening, Stewart said.

Inside the home, authorities found a dead deputy and what they described as anti-American literature and suicide notes. Similar material also was found inside the apartment in town where Bixby's wife was arrested. Authorities did
not say whose apartment it was.

Stewart said the family had prepared for the standoff and fortified the house's doors to make it harder for police to break in.

Authorities identified the two dead officers as Danny Wilson and Donnie M. Ouzts.

Ouzts apparently had been shot from a distance with a rifle, state Public Safety spokesman Sid Gaulden said; Wilson was found inside the home. Authorities would not say which one first went to the house.

Gene Land, Bixby's neighbor who lives about a half-mile away, said Steven Bixby was angry because the state planned to take some of his land to widen the highway. The Bixbys had lived in the house for more than 10 years, Land said.

A dispute Thursday between state transportation workers and someone from the home on Highway 72 precipitated the incident, DOT spokesman Pete Poore said.

Retired Fed, Active Special
8,897 Posts
Some people can't handle "Emminent Domain" issues. Ya sure! Take on the State, you'll win evertime. YIKES!!!!!! Most unfortunate for those killed-in-the-line.

Can you imagine this crap here in Massachusetts? "Yes sir/m'am we need to move back your front yard about 12 feet back to widen the roadway, but we'll cut you a check for fair market value of the land and.....BANG! BANG! BANG!

Didnt some guy pull some crap sometime ago where he was holding out in his house and the Marshals Service tried arrest him on some land tax issues, I dont remember if there was any violence involved, but I do remember some incident here in Mass like that.

Moment of silence for the fallen SC officers.
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