Wednesday, February 21, 2018

One dead in officer-involved shooting in Gladewater

By Meredith Shamburger
Nov. 5, 2016 at 10:49 a.m.
Updated Nov. 5, 2016 at 12:24 p.m.

Officials investigate the scene Saturday morning where a Gregg County Justice of the Peace says an officer-involved shooting left one person dead in Gladewater.

GLADEWATER — A Gladewater police officer shot and killed a man early Saturday after a traffic stop escalated into a pursuit, said Gregg County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Mathis.

Mathis said that after the failed traffic stop and pursuit, the suspect exited the vehicle and failed to comply with the officer’s orders. Mathis said the officer — who has not been identified — had reason to fear for his safety and shot the man in a field between East Lake Drive and Avalon Drive.

Mathis pronounced the man dead at 2:05 a.m. Officials have not released his name.

Britney Kirk, who lives near where the shooting occurred, said she was awakened by what she thought were fireworks or a car backfiring.

Kirk said she was in bed around 1:15 or 1:30 a.m. when she heard several loud sounds and walked out to her back door. Kirk said she then heard an officer screaming that shots had been fired from a field behind her back fence.

“I heard ‘Shots fired!’ ” she said, noting that the dispatcher then asked to confirm the shots fired call. “He said ‘Yes, shots fired. Send back-up.’ ”

Kirk remembers hearing five or six shots. A Texas Ranger told Kirk that there were two bullet holes in her fence from the shooting.

“We heard bam, bam, bam, bam, bam,” she said. “There were five or six shots.”

Calls to Gladewater Police Chief Robert Vine were not returned Saturday.

The shooting is the fourth officer-involved shooting in the area this year:

A 26-year-old Lindale man was hospitalized in early October after police responded to a 911 call to a Lindale club about a man with a gun. Officials said two Lindale police officers saw Jeremy Wood outside the club with a gun. Wood refused to drop his weapon and pointed it at officers before he was shot, officials said.

Gary Don Lafon, 56, was killed in September after Wood County sheriff’s deputies responded to a suicide call on CR 3955. Deputies entered Lafon’ s home after trying to make contact. The sheriff’s office said Lafon pointed a gun at officers.

Texas DPS Trooper Daniel McBride shot and killed 24-year-old Calin Roquemore in February after Roquemore refused to stop and led the officer in a car and foot chase in Beckville. McBride told officials he believed Roquemore had been reaching for a gun. There was no gun found at the scene. A Panola County grand jury declined to indict McBride in the shooting.



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