A Texas man is behind bars after he allegedly held multiple migrants at gunpoint on New Year’s Eve and said he was “doing it for America.” Steven Matthew Driscoll, 27, was taken into custody last Wednesday and charged with one count each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct – displaying a firearm, and evading arrest in a motor vehicle, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
A federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas also charged Driscoll with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. In 2018, Driscoll was convicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to three years in a state prison.
According to a press release from the El Paso Police Department (EPPD), officers at approximately 10:34 p.m. on Dec. 31 responded to a 911 call regarding an adult male allegedly harassing migrants. While on the line with the emergency dispatcher, the caller then stated that the man had a gun.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
A few hours later, at approximately 12:37 a.m. on Jan. 1, the same person called 911 a second time to report that they’d spotted the suspect driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck near the Greyhound bus station on Santa Fe Street where he also allegedly pointed a handgun at several migrants.
According to a copy of the federal complaint obtained by Law&Crime, Driscoll brandished the weapon at a “warming station” in downtown El Paso and was overheard saying that “he was doing it for America” before fleeing the scene in his vehicle.
Officers responded to the area and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle identified by the 911 caller.
The officers stopped the suspect’s truck and asked the driver to exit the vehicle, the department said. The suspect initially exited the truck, but then “jumped back into the vehicle and fled,” according to the press release.
“Because of a mechanical issue, the police unit became disabled and lost sight of the suspect,” the department said.
The following day, investigators were able to locate the Chevy Silverado and allegedly identified one of Driscoll’s relatives – his uncle – as the registered owner of the vehicle. EPPD then obtained an arrest warrant for the relative.
“However, when EPPD arrived at the residence to arrest the relative, Driscoll exited the residence and stated that he knew why EPPD was there and that his uncle gave him the truck for work,” the federal complaint states. “EPPD then observed, in plain view, what appeared to be a rifle in the above-mentioned vehicle parked in front of the residence on the street.”
In subsequent interviews with investigators, Driscoll allegedly admitted to being in possession of a firearm despite knowing that possessing a gun was illegal due to his previous felony conviction. He also allegedly admitted to intentionally evading law enforcement because he had a firearm in his vehicle when he was stopped by police.
“FBI El Paso has been working closely with El Paso Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit (EPPD-SIU) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to investigate the individual involved in the alleged harassment incident that occurred in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2023,” Special Agent Jeanette Harper, a public affairs officer for the FBI’s El Paso field office wrote in an email to Law&Crime. “FBI El Paso, EPPD, and ATF want to ensure the community there is no longer an immediate threat and would like to thank the concerned citizens for their phone calls. As the review continues, if information comes to light of potential federal civil rights violations, the FBI is prepared to investigate.”
EPPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Law&Crime.
Read the federal complaint below.
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