Red Cross, Restaurants Step in to Help Officers During Weekend Standoff

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Once the call went out not only did law enforcement agencies roll into West Odessa, but a slew of businesses and Red Cross volunteers moved in too.

Over 20 law enforcement agencies from all across the state and 150 officers came in to help Ector County deputies. Most of them worked around the clock, and while they worked, teams of volunteers from the American Red Cross and local restaurants came together making sure the officers were taken care of.

"Those guys and ladies had a tough job for a very long period of time," Bob Rice, Director of the American Red Cross of SouthWest Texas, said.

A 22 hour standoff kept officers on the scene constantly working all night Friday and most of the day on Saturday. And just a couple hours after the first call went out, American Red Cross volunteers rushed in to help taking food and water to the scene.

"It's a team effort and very gratifying to be part of it," Rice said. "We were happy to do what we could to help the cause."

Restaurants throughout Odessa like Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut and Bush's Chicken took food and drinks out to the University and Knox crime scene.

"Every time they come through, they're appreciative of us taking care of them as we're appreciative of the job they do," Brian Henderson, Owner of Bush's Chicken in Odessa, said.

Teams of Red Cross volunteers loaded up their vehicles and set up camp right next to Victor White's property. During the course of the weekend, they served over 200 meals and handed out countless bottles of water. The director told NewsWest 9 the total cost for the relief efforts ran about $1,500.

Volunteers worked side by side with those first responders staying right there with them until Sunday night.

"It was fascinating," Rice said. "Absolutely fascinating. To see the capabilities in terms of special helicopters and vehicles to special communications systems to night vision devices, the high technology communications vans that were out there - state of the art."

"They're there for us day in and day out putting their lives on the line and we should take care of them," Henderson said.