Today in Texas History – February 28

From the Annals of the Cults –  In 1993, federal and state agents attempted to execute on an arrest warrant for David Koresh (fka Vernon Howell) and followers at the Mount Carmel Center compound of the Branch Davidians near Elk.  Based on an FBI and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms investigation, authorities sought to arrest Koresh for possession of illegal firearms. The ATF’s plan to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians went severely awry.  The BD’s were not surprised because a Waco reporter asked for directions from a mailman who happened to be Koresh’s brother-in-law.  When the authorities arrived they were met with gunfire and an intense firefight broke out.  Four agents and six Davidians were killed.  The violence and stories about the bizarre and possible illegal practices of the BDs (including child marriage, polygamy and child abuse) captured the attention of the nation during the 51-day standoff which followed.  Ultimately, the compound was attacked with tear gas and other weapons resulting in a fire which destroyed the comp0und.  Only eight BD’s survived the fire.  Koresh was likely killed by one of his lieutenants Steve Schneider who then killed himself.

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