Standoff in Pearsall likely tied to Silver Alert out of Indianapolis ends peacefully, DPS says

Standoff had lasted for several hours on Tuesday

PEARSALL, TexasUPDATE - Tuesday, 10:36 p.m.:

An hours-long standoff at a motel in Pearsall ended peacefully late Tuesday evening, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Shortly before 10:15 p.m., a DPS spokesperson said that two adults and three children peacefully surrendered to officials on the scene.

DPS did not immediately provide specific details about the condition of the individuals but said medical personnel were evaluating them.

They also did not immediately confirm the identity of those involved.

ORIGINAL:

A multi-agency standoff in Pearsall is believed to be tied to a Silver Alert out of Indianapolis involving three children and their noncustodial parents, according to Pearsall police Chief Daniel Flores.

The alert was issued on July 5. According to criteria for Indiana, a Silver Alert accounts for a “missing endangered adult, child or high-risk missing person.”

Flores told KSAT on Tuesday evening that the department received a call from the Texas Department of Public Safety about a cellphone ping in Pearsall concerning the alert.

According to WRTV, Indianapolis’ ABC affiliate, three children — all under the age of five — were allegedly taken by their noncustodial parents after a Department of Child’s Services meeting with the children’s grandfather.

The meeting was said to have occurred on July 4 at a restaurant in Indianapolis. When the grandfather got up to use the bathroom, the parents took the children, the report said.

A Facebook post from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department and WRTV’s story identified the parents as Willie Terrell, 50, and Jessika Terrell, 31.

DPS said a ping from a family member’s cellphone alerted the department to a potential location. Flores said DPS asked police to search the area around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police located the family’s vehicle in the 1600 block of West Comal Street and notified DPS and FBI as they set up surveillance, Flores said. As a precaution, the motel was evacuated.

The father of the children attempted to leave the motel around 3 p.m. When police tried to pull him over, he ran, and a short pursuit ensued, Flores said.

The man returned to the motel and entered their room, Flores said.

Flores said that things have stayed largely peaceful, and no threats have been made. He said contact had been made with the parents.

The FBI is handling negotiating duties, while DPS officials have a specialized unit on the scene that would allow for entry into the room, Flores said.

It is unclear if anyone was injured; however, Flores said some of the children have known medical issues.

Pearsall police are on scene assisting FBI and DPS officials and the Frio County Sheriff’s Office, Flores said.

A spokesperson for San Antonio’s FBI field office sent KSAT the following statement Tuesday evening:

“We are in close communication with the Texas Department of Public Safety, as they are the lead agency, and we defer to them for any further comment.”


About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital journalist at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, reading and watching movies.

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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