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Man accused in deadly Texas standoff faces federal charge

A man charged in the fatal shooting of a SWAT officer in a small West Texas city during a standoff last week was charged Friday with assaulting a federal officer who responded to the scene, prosecutors said.

Omar Soto-Chavira, 22, was charged with one count of forcibly assaulting a federal officer engaged in the performance of official duties.

Soto-Chavira repeatedly opened fire on law enforcement during the almost 11-hour standoff on July 15 at a house in Levelland, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Lubbock, authorities said.

Soto-Chavira was charged this week with a state count of capital murder in the death of Lubbock County sheriff's Sgt. Josh Bartlett, who was shot in the neck.

Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a news release that if Soto-Chavira were to post the $500,000 bond set in the state case, he would be transferred to federal custody, where criminal defendants can be detained without bond.

The standoff between the defendant and law enforcement started after someone reported a man as possibly armed along a street, authorities have said.

Levelland police Sgt. Shawn Wilson remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head during the standoff, federal prosecutors said. Three other officers also were shot and wounded.

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