Monday's dramatic events began to unfold after a man at the trailer park saw an episode of the popular true-crime show America's Most Wanted, which has televised stories on the Texas Seven since their Dec. 13 escape. A U.S. Marshal told ABCNEWS that law enforcement officials received a phone call from the man late Sunday night. By about midnight, the Marshal said, investigators had the mobile home under surveillance. Authorities say they wanted to wait for the fugitives to leave the busy mountaintop trailer park before making a move.
At 11 a.m local time, a gray Jeep Cherokee left the mobile home. Police followed, and arrested three of the men as they pulled up at a convenience store along a nearby trailer park strip, apparently catching the men off guard. Police have found 37 stolen weapons inside the mobile home and the jeep — 13 to 14 of them from the prison escape. Many of the weapons, which included sawed-off shotguns, had the serial numbers fully or partially filed off. Police say "a significant number" of weapons still need to be recovered.
The fourth escapee surrendered near their hideout. Rivas, Rodriguez, Halprin and Garcia are awaiting transfer to authorities in Texas before the end of the week. There, they each face capital murder charges and possibly the death penalty for the death of police officer Aubrey Hawkins, officials said. Their journey as fugitives lasted 41 days — and 800 miles.
One of the men was briefly treated for a two-week-old gunshot wound to his left foot, an investigator said.
Harper shot himself in the chest while police were trying to negotiate his surrender, law enforcement officials told ABCNEWS. Police said Harper barricaded himself in the RV in Woodland Park, about 20 miles west of Colorado Springs and about 50 miles southwest of Denver.
Police said they learned from Halprin that Harper had asked to speak with his father before he committed suicide. FBI officials said they had a cell phone ready for Harper, but when they called out to him they got no response.
SWAT Teams, Helicopters, and Lockdowns
As word of the arrests — and the possibility that two remaining fugitives may still be in the area — spread, members of the 7,000-resident Woodland Park community were put on high alert while helicopters and SWAT teams converged on the trailer park.
As a precaution, police told officials from nearby towns Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs to lock down their schools. Highways were blocked off, which was the first indication to local newspaper courier Sandy Pogue that there was trouble ahead.
"I saw the police officers, saw that traffic was slowing down, and asked one officer to please let me get through because I needed to get back here," said Pogue. "And then I heard it on the radio."
Carol Pflug, 44, a dishwasher at a nearby restaurant who lives a block away from the escapees' hideout, described the scene as surreal with more police suddenly in her small town than she has ever seen. She said she hasn't had time to consider whether the news frightens her, but added, "I think when this all hits me later this night, I'll be a basket case."
Pflug described the Woodland Park community as home to lower-income families and transients, which is why she suspects no one noticed the escapees until now.
Facing Justice in Texas