Two people are dead in East Texas following a murder-suicide that unfolded at two locations.
Authorities received a call shortly before 11a.m. Sunday about a reported shooting at a house on FM 959 north of Beckville in Panola County.
The caller reported that the gunman left the scene in a black Ford Explorer, still armed with an AK-47 type rifle. Once arriving at the scene, officers found a woman dead with a single gunshot wound.
A witness reported that the gunman shot the victim with the AK style rifle after a brief altercation, then demanded the keys to the witness’s vehicle, which he fled the scene in.
As the information came available, it was shared with surrounding agencies. During this short time frame, and before any of the information was available to be shared, a Tatum PD officer made contact with the suspect’s vehicle which appeared to be disabled on Hwy 149 near the Tatum city limits.
At the time the officer did not know that this was possibly the murder suspect due to the short period between the shooting and the information being obtained by investigators.
The Tatum officer called our office via radio to report the disabled vehicle. The dispatcher on duty was able to give the Tatum officer the limited information we had just in case he observed the suspect vehicle.
The Tatum officer advised that he believed the vehicle he was out with was possibly the suspect vehicle. The officer took cover and demanded the suspect out of the vehicle at which time the suspect took his own life with the suspected murder weapon.
The officer was uninjured in the incident. Tatum PD, Rusk County Sheriff’s investigators, and Texas Rangers are investigating the incident in Tatum. Panola County investigators are handling the murder with the assistance of Texas Rangers.
The names of the victim and the suspect are not being released at this time pending family notifications.