Escaped inmate killed in gunfight days after Christmas Eve getaway

Childers escaped from a transport van heading to the Live Oak County Jail on Christmas Eve.

ATASCOSA CO., TEXAS - Authorities shot and killed an escaped inmate in an exchange of gunfire Tuesday night.

About a hundred officers, four helicopters and multiple tracking dogs had been looking for Jake Childers, who escaped from a transport van heading to the Live Oak County Jail on Christmas Eve.

Childers then burglarized a home in George West, stealing a pickup truck and weapons, Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby said.

On Monday, the search area shifted to FM 791 about six miles east of Campbellton in Atascosa County, where the stolen pickup truck was found on land owned by someone Childers knew.

Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward described the area as "a few open fields, but most of it is brush, a lot of heavy brush, a lot of creek bottoms, wooded area. It's a lot of country he can move through and stay concealed in."

Local, state and federal agents trailed him on foot. Soward said Childers opened fire on tracking dogs but missed.

"A guy that's running from the law like this, is armed, is scared, he obviously doesn't want to go back to jail or prison," Sheriff Soward said late Tuesday afternoon. "Anything's possible. Could be very dangerous if encountered."

By Tuesday night, authorities had closed in. Childers was hiding in heavy brush; he refused to surrender and fired at officers, Soward said.

He was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT.

Sheriff Busby said Childers was being held at the jail on eight charges related to repeatedly beating an ex-girlfriend as well as assaulting a Bastrop County Game Warden who was trying to arrest him in mid-November.

Childers was captured a month later in Austin.

@MichaelLocklear |

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