February 28th marks 25 years since the starts of a 51 day siege between Branch Davidians and ATF and FBI agents at Mount Carmel.
“Course, nobody dreamed that it was going to turn out like that,” said Sheriff Parnell McNamara, McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff McNamara says it was on that morning, 25 years ago, that his life and the lives of many others would never be the same.
“It’s something that took place that, I don’t know if any of us will ever totally get over it. I know I won’t,” said Sheriff McNamara.
He, along with other U.S. Marshall’s, members of the Sheriff’s Office, Waco Police, ATF Agents, DEA Agents, IRS Agents and DPS Narcotics were at the second command post waiting for the all clear.
“We were just kind of laughing and talking. Then, all of the sudden an ATF car drives up right to us and said ‘We are in a terrible shootout, we got people shot, maybe dead’,” said Sheriff McNamara.
That’s the moment everyone’s hearts who were on scene, dropped.
“You could hear the big stuff boom boom,” added the Sheriff.
All they could do was listen, listen to the pleas for help and to a battle they couldn’t join.
“As a police officer you’re trained to go to the sound of firing, always go back up another officer. Let’s go we have a hundred guys here, you know, they got a fight going on and they said no, everybody’s got to stay here,” said Sheriff McNamara.
Four Federal Agents were killed and 14 others wounded. That day started what would become a 51 day siege.
“I said ‘they’ll come out when that gas hits them, that CS gas when it hits them they’re coming out.’ She said ‘not on your life’,” said the Sheriff.
April 19th, 1993 FBI agents began a gas attack, hours later flames could be seen coming from the compound.
“I told the lady that was in my office I said, ‘Your daughter is still in there isn’t she?’ and she said ‘yes and God I wish I was in there with them’ and right then I knew that they weren’t coming out,” added the Sheriff.
Only a handful escaped the fire, 76 stayed inside the burning building.
“We knew everybody was burning up and that’s when you just got this horrible sick feeling, because the poor kids didn’t have a choice to come out,” said Sheriff McNamara.
Sheriff McNamara says the biggest lie ever told about it all is that the Government set the fire. He says Koresh and other Branch Davidians set the fire, to make Koresh’s prediction that he would die by fire and be resurrected, come true.
In total, 86 people died; four ATF agents and 82 Davidians 25 years ago.
Click HERE to read how McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara says the firefight ever began.