Constable's Trick Shot Saves Day, Man's Life
By KENNETH DEAN
A Wood County constable's quick thinking and "incredible shooting" ended an hour-long standoff Sunday when he shot the gun out of a suicidal man's hand, a Texas Ranger said.
Texas Ranger John Vance said Wood County Sheriff's deputies, Constable Edward Shadbolt, other constables and Department of Public Safety troopers responded to a home shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday on County Road 2445 in Mineola.
"A suicidal subject called 911 threatening to harm himself. When deputies arrived they learned the subject ran into his large backyard where he hid from officers," he said.
Vance said officers combed the area and finally spotted the man, who appeared to be in his 50s, hiding and making threats to fire on officers.
He said Shadbolt, a tactical rifle and weapons instructor in Wood County, was called to the scene to assist in the situation.
"Shadbolt was in the process of trying to negotiate with the subject when the subject suddenly posed a threat on the constable and he disarmed the subject," he said.
Vance said Shadbolt was about 30 yards from the man when he fired a round from his rifle striking the man in his hand causing him to drop a handgun.
"Basically he wanted a suicide by cop kind of thing, but Shadbolt was able to disarm him," he said. "It was a heck of a shot."
But Shadbolt said it all came down to his training.
"I was very confident in the shot because I do a lot of training, so I am confident with my weapon," he said Monday afternoon.
Shadbolt said he has been a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education instructor for about 10 years for tactical weapon training.
"Everything worked out well. No officers were injured and the guy is still with us, so it went pretty well," he said.
In November 2009, Shadbolt was seriously injured in the line of duty when he responded to a scene to assist paramedics with a mental patient.
Vance said the man in Sunday's incident was taken by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center and treated for wounds to the hand, but was later taken to ETMC Behavioral Health where he is currently being evaluated.
Vance said the incident remains under investigation and charges are pending in the case.
Updated Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 8:40 a.m. CDT