Affidavit: Cedar Park hostage, officer shooting suspect posted on social media during standoff

Crime

Joseph Desean Taylor (Cedar Park Police Department photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — New details have been released in the case of a Cedar Park man accused of shooting and injuring three officers while holding his family hostage earlier this week.

On Sunday, police say 26-year-old Joseph Taylor held his mom and two siblings hostage for more than 16 hours, while injuring three officers in the process. He eventually surrendered to law enforcement the next day, but not after hours of negotiations with SWAT.

Taylor is charged with aggravated assault against a public servant, a first degree felony, according to an affidavit released Wednesday.

The affidavit says around 2:41 p.m. on Sunday, Officer Chris Hester responded to the home on Natalie Cove for a vehicle theft in progress. The caller, Taylor’s mom, said he was trying to steal her car. She mentioned he had previous mental health issues and could be experiencing an episode.

KXAN previously reported that court records say in 2019, Taylor’s mom tried to get mental health help for him after a domestic disturbance at their home.

When Taylor was trying to steal her car, Taylor’s mom said she was locked in an upstairs bedroom with her two children.

As Hester was responding, Taylor’s mom stayed on the phone with Cedar Park police. It was then she said she thought Taylor had a weapon, according to the affidavit. She said Taylor was inside the home, trying to enter bedrooms and throwing things around. Communications personnel on the line with Taylor’s mom said they could hear him trying to break into the room where his mom and siblings were.

It was at this time a handful of other officers, later identified as Nik Anderson and Jacqueline Quiles, also responded to the home. The door was unlocked, but barricaded, the affidavit says. The officers announced themselves as police with the Cedar Park Police Department while forcing their way into the home, according to the affidavit.

No one answered the announcements, the affidavit says. Officers went upstairs to get to the bedroom Taylor’s mom and siblings were in, all while still announcing themselves, but there was no response.

Officers said they heard screaming coming from behind a bedroom door. They forced their way into the bedroom, which was barricaded, and that’s when Taylor started shooting at the officers from inside the room, the affidavit says.

The arrest affidavit outlines the officers who were hit and where:

  • Officer Quiles was shot, and the bullet hit her ballistic vest
  • Officer Anderson was shot in the left arm
  • Officer Hester’s head was grazed by a bullet

The three officers retreated from the home after being hit, and Taylor’s mom and siblings became hostages at this point as Taylor threatened to harm them, the affidavit says.

A perimeter was secured around the home, and the Central Texas Regional SWAT Team began negotiations with Taylor.

Around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the affidavit says Taylor himself started posting photos and live streams to social media. One of them was a selfie with the caption “Being A Target Is Not Fun.” The picture showed blood on the floor and a towel wrapped around Taylor’s arm. A gun was also visible in the photos, according to the affidavit.

Taylor spoke in his live streams, the affidavit says.

It was not until 7:30 a.m. the next day that Taylor released his two siblings first from the home. Taylor’s mom told negotiators that she and Taylor were going to walk out together, according to the affidavit.

Around 8:52 a.m., Taylor left the home with his mom and surrendered to law enforcement. This was after around 16 hours of reportedly holding his family hostage, the affidavit says.

Condition of the officers

Hester and Quiles were treated and released from the hospital Monday. Anderson was released Wednesday after undergoing surgery.

A crowd of Cedar Park officers and staff gathered outside the hospital as he was wheeled out, and he exchanged fist bumps with a few of them.

“Thanks for everything. Thanks for all the support,” he said, as masked coworkers cheered and clapped.

  • Coworkers gather to support Officer Nik Anderson as he was released from the hospital Aug. 19, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)
  • Coworkers gather to support Officer Nik Anderson as he was released from the hospital Aug. 19, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)
  • Coworkers gather to support Officer Nik Anderson as he was released from the hospital Aug. 19, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

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