Witnesses describe College Station gun battle that killed three




Posted on August 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 9:48 AM

College Station shooting

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A 35-year-old man facing eviction has been identified as the suspect in an apparent ambush Monday afternoon that killed a Brazos County constable in College Station, just blocks from the Texas A&M University campus.

Witnesses reported hearing several bursts of gunfire, over several minutes.

"It was consistent," said Michael Golla, who owns a home just a few doors down from the shooting. "You could tell the person was pulling the trigger, not an automatic full blast."

Neighbors Chuck Ross of Sugarland and Hayden Behner of Farmers Branch heard it, too.

"It [a bullet] whizzed by my window just a few inches from my head, Behner said. "Made a whistling noise."

It appears that Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann was killed in the initial round of gunfire. Police said he was trying to serve an eviction notice on Thomas "Tres" Caffall in the 200 block of Fidelity Street near Kyle Field.

"It is tragic," Behner said. "I moved here two weeks ago, and to think people got shot just because of an eviction."

Behner went outside during the chaos, but was ordered back inside by police.

After the chaos had ended, it was clear that Bachmann and Caffall were killed. So was 43-year-old Chris Northcliff, the suspect's landlord.

A College Station police officer was shot in the leg. Also wounded was Barbara Towne Holdsworth, a Houston woman who was helping her daughter move.

Holdsworth is a Dallas native and a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, according to her Facebook page. She was hospitalized with what were believed to be serious injuries.

Two other College Station police officers were injured by shrapnel.

Bachmann was a 41-year-old father with more than 18 years of law enforcement experience in Brazos County. He was called a "pillar" of the community.

"Honest as honest can be," said Golla. "That's why he was a constable ... we will miss him a lot."

Several vigils for the victims were held Monday night in College Station. Raw emotion was hard to hide at Christ United Methodist Church, where Constable Bachmann celebrated his last worship service on Sunday.

The family of a gunman who was killed in the shootout said they were "distraught by the havoc that he has caused."

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and this is just a senseless tragedy," said Courtney Clark, Caffall's sister, reached Monday evening at her mother's home in Navasota, about 20 miles to the south. "We are just distraught by the havoc that he has caused. We're shocked."

She declined additional comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com