Mitch Decker was a character involved in the Waco siege, a 51-day standoff between the Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, and federal agents in 1993. The siege ended violently when the compound caught fire, resulting in the deaths of Koresh, Decker, and many others.
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) attempted to execute a search warrant at the Mount Carmel Center ranch, a property located near Waco, Texas, and home to the religious group known as the Branch Davidians. The ATF was investigating the group for illegal weapons possession. The initial raid resulted in a shootout, causing the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians.
Following the failed raid, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the operation, leading to a standoff that lasted for more than seven weeks. During this time, negotiations were ongoing, and several children were released from the compound. However, David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians, refused to surrender.
On April 19, 1993, the FBI launched a final assault on the compound using tanks to insert tear gas in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out. A few hours into the assault, fires broke out throughout the compound. The origin of the fires remains a subject of debate, with some claiming they were started by the Branch Davidians themselves and others suggesting they were accidentally ignited by the tear gas rounds.
Mitch Decker was among the Branch Davidians who perished in the fire. In total, the blaze claimed the lives of 76 people, including more than 20 children and two pregnant women, along with David Koresh. The Waco siege has since become a symbol of controversial government action and has been the subject of numerous investigations, documentaries, and debates regarding the use of force by law enforcement.