Sheriff's Deputy Injured During Standoff Talks with NewsWest 9

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - He took a bullet to the head during the standoff in West Odessa. This week, Ector County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Steven McNeill reported back to duty.

On Wednesday he spoke one on one with NewsWest 9 and explained how he's doing and what happened back in September: "I was sitting at this desk and one of the officers ran by and said Deputy Tijerina had been shot," McNeill said. "I didn't realize it was still an active shooting out there so we responded out there."

McNeill was just one of many deputies who rushed to the scene of Victor White's compound on September 17 after another deputy and civilian were shot.

"We had our long guns, our sniper rifles and we moved in from a different angle," McNeill said. "We were going to try and provide lethal cover so a rescue team could come in and save those deputies and that civilian who were penned down."

While providing cover, as expected, the shooter turned his focus to McNeill and his partner.

"We hit the ground to become a smaller target and more difficult to hit," he said. "Despite that he (Victor White) still fires at us and the first round hit the ground in front of us skipped up and hit me. If it had been a direct hit it would have taken the whole top of my head off."

The bullet didn't penetrate his skull, but it still cracked it. After surviving brain surgery, McNeill now has a titanium plate in his head.

"There's no doubt in my mind that it was divine intervention taking place out there," he said. "There's no question in my mind that God helped in all of that."

McNeill is still in recovery mode, but he's glad to be back at work. Especially since he believes the alleged shooter Victor White was trying to kill him that day.

"There's no doubt in my mind that his intentions were to commit murder," McNeill said. "He wanted to murder as many of us as he could."

White is now behind bars in Midland County on several charges connected to the shooting. McNeill says he believes justice will be served when he finally has his day in court.

"I'm sure that they'll be able to find him guilty," McNeill said. "(I hope) he's going to spend the rest of his life incarcerated and no longer be a threat to anybody else in the community."