The Last Hours of the Armed Standoff with Donny Leek
FORT McKAVETT, TX — In an affidavit obtained by the Eldorado Success newspaper in Schleicher County, new details have emerged about the tragic demise of Weldon Reed “Donny” Leek, 47 on May 13-14.
Donny Leek held off the Schleicher County Sheriff and the Texas DPS for about 17 hours after spending most of Wednesday, May 13, in fights with residents of Menard on social media. Leek lived with his parents on a couple acres in far eastern Schleicher County, near Fort McKavett. He had the most contact with Menard, the closet town with a grocery store to where he lived.
According to the arrest warrant for Donny Leek issued May 14, he was armed with a firearm and had shot at least one tire of the vehicle his parents, Betty Havins and Walter Roy Leek, when the couple was attempting to drive away.
In the arrest affidavit, Schleicher County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jason Chatham explained that Donny threatened his parents with imminent bodily injury with a firearm, discharged the firearm during an argument, and exhibited a deadly weapon with an intended use of “causing serious bodily injury, during the commission of an assault.”
Above: Donny Leek forced a confrontation with law enforcement May 14, 2020 and was killed.
The May 13 events started when Donny’s mother, Betty, suggested to Donny that he get off social media. The mother had observed Donny become “angry” with someone on his computer. When his mother suggested that Donny disengage, Donny went outside into the front yard. There, Betty slapped Donny in the face. Donny mentioned this as an assault by his mother in one of his Facebook Live rants the next morning. He said he didn’t want to file charges against her.
After the slapping, the affidavit states that Donny went back inside and emerged moments later in the front lawn with a firearm. The affidavit states that Donny’s parents said they witnessed Donny fire the firearm into the sky and into the ground. This is when Roy and Betty attempted to flee by hopping into their vehicle to drive off. They said they intended to go somewhere else to wait for Donny to calm down. With his parents seated in the vehicle, Donny fired in the direction of their vehicle and hit one of the tires, preventing the parents from fleeing.
This is where the affidavit leaves it. According to reporting from Schleicher County by the Eldorado Success, publisher Randy Mankin continues the narrative.
Mankin wrote that Roy and Betty managed to call 9-1-1 after running on foot to hide from their son. When Chief Deputy Chatham arrived, he immediately called for backup. Two county ambulances, the State of Texas Game Warden, and troopers from the Texas DPS soon arrived. Texas Rangers also were called and en route.
Chatham took the parents into safety and the standoff began. As nighttime fell, the Texas Rangers arrived. According to Mankin, the lawmen surrounding the Leek estate attempted to contact Donny and convince him to lay down his weapon. Texas DPS stated after the incident that they were there to serve Chatham’s arrest warrant.
Mankin observed an armored vehicle traveling to the scene. The Leek estate was set behind a second property line and generally inaccessible to the news media, especially with the police presence surrounding the property. Later, through pictures showing the scene, Mankin believes the DPS SWAT team out of Austin deployed with a Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle.
Thursday morning, May 14, Donny opened up to the world on Facebook live using the WiFi connection from the residence. In his ramblings, he took aim at the COVID-19 restrictions as tyrannical and called out just about every Republican politician, including Governor Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and State Rep. Drew Darby. He complained out the high cost of beef and about some people he engaged with on social media, most of whom were residents of Menard— the ones he had been fighting with via the computer the previous day. DPS stated that they continued attempts via various ways to contact Donny. They were unsuccessful in convincing him to surrender.
Just before 11 a.m., Donny, already clad in a bulletproof vest, may have seen the DPS SWAT team making its move. He dropped his phone and just before his internet was shut off, you could see him standing while aiming his rifle. An exchange of gunfire ensued and within seconds Donny Leek was dead. Mankin said he heard over the radio an officer canceling a call to a paramedic. DPS stated that Donny fired first.
In Donny’s obituary, the family said he “had a gentle soul and a heart for helping a neighbor in need. He loved his family, animals, and nature in general.” The obituary states that Donny’s body was to be cremated and his ashes were to be scattered at his family’s property, where Donny “lost his life standing strong in his beliefs in the Constitution, protecting his rights, and sharing his strong convictions.”
Schleicher County is the adjacent county located south of Tom Green County and San Angelo.
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