Lufkin Police Release Identity of Man Killed in High Speed Chase
Lufkin Police officials have identified the deceased in last night’s pursuit as Wharton, Texas, bank robbery suspect LeEdward Hopkins, 43, of Houston.
Around 11:30 a.m. yesterday, Hopkins and another man identified as 42-year-old Tony Mitchell of Houston, robbed First State Bank of Louise at gunpoint. They fled the bank at 505 E. Boling Highway in Wharton with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Special agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division began assisting Wharton Police Department with the investigation and quickly identified the suspects. They then assisted with locating the men.
Around 7 p.m. yesterday, DPS received information that Hopkins was in the Lufkin area, headed north on Loop 287 in a black Dodge Challenger R/T. A Lufkin Police officer located the suspect vehicle near the intersection of Old Moffett Road around 7:10 p.m. He then initiated a traffic stop, but Hopkins refused to pull over.
Hopkins continued on to U.S. 59 north toward Nacogdoches as multiple agencies, including Pct. 1 Constable Tom Selman joined the pursuit. Selman attempted to shoot out Hopkins’ back tire but was unsuccessful.
Hopkins broke away from law enforcement as he neared Nacogdoches city limits, reaching speeds of more than 130 mph. He lost control of the vehicle after one of his tires was spiked near Woodland Hills Golf Course.
The vehicle veered off the road, hit a power pole and went airborne into a tree before eventually coming to a stop in a tree line near the 12th hole. The car’s engine block caught fire, but it had been thrown from the vehicle.
Hopkins apparently died on impact and was pronounced dead at the scene by a Nacogdoches County Justice of the Peace.
An undisclosed amount of cash was recovered from the vehicle, along with a loaded pistol and additional magazines. Mitchell was not with Hopkins at the time of the crash and remains at large.
Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office and Nacogdoches County constables also assisted with the incident.