Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
The massive manhunt for an armed fugitive ended when Parker County sheriff's deputies shot and killed Winford Watkins at a house in Weatherford early Tuesday morning.
The Parker County Sheriff's Department said deputies shot and killed an armed fugitive early Tuesday during an standoff at a home in rural Weatherford.
The fugitive, 44-year-old Winford Watkins, of Garland, eluded a large manhunt Monday, but was found early Tuesday inside a home on Cindy Lane that police had searched previously.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said deputies thought Watkins was hiding in the unoccupied house all night long, but they had never made contact with him.
Fowler said deputies were stationed inside the home throughout the night, waiting for Watkins. Deputies used tear gas inside the home to try to flush him out, however a thick layer of insulation in the attic hindered that method.
Fowler said Watkins came down a ladder from the attic crawl space at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"He came down without saying a word, just slithered out of that crawl space, and pointed his gun at us," Fowler said. "He was trying to get a shot off. He didn't. We did."
Fowler confirmed that Watkins was killed by the gunfire from deputies. Initially it was unclear whether the suspect was alive as he retreated into the bathroom and shut the door.
Law enforcement officials found Watkins deceased in the bathroom with a handgun under his leg.
The incident began Monday when, during a traffic stop, Watkins waved a gun at a Parker County deputy and fled into the nearby woods, authorities said.
Last month, Watkins was in court, facing jail time in Collin County for his role in a burglary that took place in McKinney in Oct., 2011. On the last day of the trial, Watkins disappeared and had been on the run ever since.
He, along with several others, were charged with burglarzing the home of a man who died in the house, which was also set on fire. In his absence, Watkins was convicted and handed a long prison sentence.
Fowler said a deputy pulled Watkins over just after 2 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Cindy Lane and Midway Road in a rural area between Azle and Springtown.
During the stop, the deputy saw the man had a gun hidden in papers in his car, Fowler said. The deputy took cover in a nearby tree line.
Fowler said the man got a lug wrench from his car and tried to break out the window of the deputy's patrol car, which contained an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon. The deputy came out of the tree line and fired his weapon at the man to try to keep him from taking the gun.
During the standoff, Fowler said Watkins was screaming out, "I'm not going back, I'm not going back."
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.