Fort Worth

Man who fled burning home during SWAT situation faces arson charge

Brandon Ishmael, 30
Brandon Ishmael, 30 Courtesy Fort Worth Police Department

Fire investigators will pursue an arson charge against a 30-year-old man who fled from a burning home Thursday after a stand-off with police, allegedly screaming, “Not giving up” and “Kill me!”

Brandon Ishmael was being held Friday in the Mansfield Jail on an unrelated warrant of burglary of a building out of Haltom City.

Fort Worth police officials said Ishmael is also facing several other charges still under investigation by numerous law enforcement agencies.

Police released new details Friday about what led to Thursday’s chaotic stand-off and fire.

Sgt. Marc Povero said officers with the east division’s Burglary Action Team had gone to the home in the 300 block of Haltom Road on Thursday morning to assist the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force in locating a stolen vehicle.

There, they spotted the stolen vehicle in the home’s driveway, he said.

The team, accompanied by fully uniformed Fort Worth police officers, were approaching the home’s front door when they spotted a man trying to escape out of a side door. When the man saw the officers, he ran back inside the home, Povero said.

“Officers then heard sounds from inside the residence indicating that someone was barricading the doors,” Povero said.

Offices used a loudspeaker to order the occupants out of the home.

The homeowner and her boyfriend complied, Povero said. The couple told police that the stolen car had been brought to the residence by Ishmael, an acquaintance who remained inside.

“As officers were speaking with the homeowner, they began to hear gunfire from inside of the residence,” Povero said.

Flames and smoke also became visible from the home’s south side, Povero said.

SWAT officers, called to the scene because of the standoff, spotted Ishmael exit a window and begin running east into a field, a gun in hand.

As he ran, officers heard Ishmael yelling, “Not giving up!” and “Kill me!,” Povero said.

Ishmael was taken into custody after a SWAT officer fired and struck him with a .40mm nonlethal foam rubber round.

“Ishmael advised officers that another individual was still in the burning house and that he was the person shooting at officers,” Povero said.

Because officers had been attempting to locate a second suspect in connection with the stolen car, police believed that a second man may have still been inside the burning home.

Fire investigators, however, later determined that there was no one else inside the destroyed house after the fire was put out.

Ishmael was treated for smoke inhalation and later booked into jail.

Lt. Kyle Falkner, a Fire Department spokesman, said investigators intend to seek an arson charge against Ishmael in connection with the fire.

“They found evidence to support charges of arson,” Falkner said.

Tarrant County court records show Ishmael has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for burglary, theft and evading arrest.

Povero said less-lethal weapons, like guns with foam ammunition, are “always available” to Special Response Team members and SWAT members.

Those units are typically deployed to incidents with both lethal and less-lethal weapons.

“Not every situation is going to be deemed a deadly force situation by an officer if they can use less-than-lethal force to neutralize the threat, and in this case, that’s what they did,” Povero said.

Staff writer Ryan Osborne contributed to this report.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd