BASTROP, TX – Deputy Sawyer Wilson was shot twice in the chest on Sunday night at a gas station. He was also shot in the forearm, shattering the bone. Fortunately, Deputy Wilson was wearing a protective vest.
Sheriff Maurice Cook said, “The vest did what it was supposed to do.”
He was taken to the hospital where he is recovering. Wilson has been with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s office for about two years.
Originally responding to a criminal mischief call in the area, Wilson spotted a vehicle with a mattress in the rear, matching the description of the vehicle from the initial call.
Wilson confronted the driver, which is when 33-year-old Michael Stark opened fire on the deputy, hitting him three times. It is unknown how many rounds were fired after there were bullet holes found in the building at the gas station.
After shooting Wilson, Stark fled the scene, running into the wood nearby. With the suspect on foot rather than in a vehicle, authorities did not issue a “blue alert,” but they did initiate a manhunt.
Multiple agencies then devoted resources, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin Police Department, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, La Grange Police Department and of course, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office. The departments even sent up helicopters, drones and a plane equipped with thermal imaging to help track the suspect.
Stark, who Cook said has been arrested roughly two dozen times, was also wanted for a parole violation. Cook said that they are working on the charges to file in regard to the events of Sunday night.
Authorities in Bastrop County are still looking for 33-year-old Michael Stark, who they say shot Deputy Sawyer Wilson three times overnight.
Stark has been arrested by the Bastrop Co. Sheriff's Office 25 times in the past. If you see him, do not approach him & call police. pic.twitter.com/kMt6guin9F
— Conner Board (@ConnerBoard) March 14, 2022
A neighbor alerted authorities after seeing Stark walking down the street roughly 3 miles from the site of the shooting. Law enforcement was able to find him and took him into custody, ending what Cook referred to as a “massive manhunt.”
Stark is now being held on $2M bond.
SHOOTING UPDATE: Michael Stark, the suspect in the Deputy Wilson shooting, has been apprehended. Details to follow.
— Bastrop County SO (@BastropCountySO) March 14, 2022
According to KWTX Waco, jail records do not list an attorney representing Stark.
KXAN also reported that efforts are under way to provide assistance to Deputy Wilson and his family.
“The 100 Club of Central Texas is fundraising for Wilson’s family through its Critically Injured Fund. It’s used to help ‘ease some of this burden so Sawyer and his loved ones can focus on his recovery.’ To donate, go to the 100 Club’s website or text ‘100clubcentex’ to 44321. You can also mail a donation to the club at 3200 Steck Ave. Suite 240, Austin, Texas 78757 or call at 512-345-3200.”
Texas governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Monday.
“Our hearts are with Deputy Sawyer Wilson as he recovers from injuries sustained while protecting his fellow Texans in Bastrop County,” the statement said.
“Selfless heroes like Deputy Wilson put their lives at risk every day to serve their communities, and the State of Texas is ready to provide all resources necessary to bring the perpetrator to justice. I ask that all Texans join the First Lady and me in lifting up Deputy Wilson and his family in prayer as he begins his journey to recovery.”
Hopefully, Stark remains in jail until his trial and is unable to get back on the streets. Sadly, we know that isn’t always the case.
Repeat offender, murder suspect charged in multiple shootings to be released after his attorney posts bail (which was lowered)
DALLAS, TEXAS – A repeat offender facing murder charges and suspected of several shootings is set to be released from jail after his attorney posted bond for him on Monday.
This is outrageous and must be stopped.
Democrats voted against a constitutional amendment that would keep dangerous criminals like this behind bars.
We are working on another law next session to keep communities safe from these criminals. https://t.co/QcUtNZueCN
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 15, 2022
Julio Guerrero is accused of a road rage shooting involving a 3-year-old girl in 2021 and open firing at Dallas police.
Police at the scene revealed that a father drove his truck to the gas station with three of his children in the back. While there, the man got into an altercation with someone else at the gas station then started firing shots.
Investigators say the suspect ran to the victim’s truck, proceeded to pull out a weapon, and began shooting into the back seat. Surveillance video shows the man repeatedly firing into the vehicle.
One of those bullets hit the 3-year-old girl in the neck. The girl was then taken to a local children’s hospital and was in critical condition.
A 3yo girl sitting in a truck is shot after an exchange of gunfire between the driver of the pickup and another motorist at a gas station near I-45. Dallas Police investigating. pic.twitter.com/c4fBo1br1v
— Mike Forbes (@mikeforbeswfaa) May 11, 2021
In another incident from June 2021, police say Guerrero murdered 35-year-old Franscisco Villanueva. Guerrero allegedly shot Villanueva after he claimed that his victim bumped into him while at a nightclub.
Police responded to a health and welfare check on Sunday morning following the altercation. When they arrived, they found Francisco Villanueva Rodriguez lying in an alleyway.
Villanueva was shot in the face and was pronounced dead at the scene.
After a 9-hour standoff, police took Guerrero into custody after he fired at Dallas police officers present.
Officers confronted a wanted murder suspect and were met with gunfire. The suspect has now barricaded himself in a residence. Thankfully, no officers were struck. The investigation is ongoing. God bless the peacemakers. @DallasPD https://t.co/QaOM6izmdE
— Eddie Garcia (@DPDChiefGarcia) June 2, 2021
Guerrero’s bond was set at $2 million dollars, then decreased to $500,000.00 last week. This means he is only required to pay $50,000.00 to be released. Judge Chika Anyiam ruled to lower his bond resulting in upset from the victim’s families. The Dallas Police Association voiced their criticism, as well.
The Villanueva family is frightened for their safety after learning of his release.
“I’m speechless. I’m mad. How? Why? Why did they let it happen?”
He didn’t think twice about killing my husband, and he’s not going to think twice to do something else.”
Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia commented saying:
“This is a slap in the face to the victims of this individual, it’s a slap in the face to the victims’ families, it’s a slap in the face to the men and women who wear this uniform to try and keep this city safe, and it’s an absolute slap in the face to every resident in the City of Dallas that are fearful of violent crime in this city.”
Chief Garcia also noted:
“The release of violent habitual offenders on bond has become a problem for law enforcement.
“This is precisely why I testified in front of the United States Senate with regards to the dangerous and irresponsible decisions that elected judges are making that do not make our community safe.”
Guerrero’s defense attorney, Tom Cox, is the owner of a bond company and paid the $50,000.00 to have Guerrero released. It was also revealed that since 2015, Judge Anyiam received $5,000 in campaign contributions from Cox.
In Texas, it is not illegal for judges to accept money from defense attorneys.
As of now, Guerrero will be released with an ankle monitor. Police and the victim’s family do not feel confident that will stop him from fleeing.
Police veteran sounds the alarm: “Make no mistake – there is a war on cops right now in America”
Her bold statement comes as the nation saw 13 officers from different agencies shot in the line of duty in 24 hours.
The spokeswoman, Betsy Brantner Smith, also sits on the Board of Advisors for Law Enforcement Today.
She spoke to Fox News while reacting to the latest string of violence against police officers. Smith said:
“This is what we call the war on cops. We [police] are constantly attacked, and we are either attacked doing very simple things – traffic stop, responding to a 911 call, a domestic. All of that.”
Arizona, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Mexico all saw police officers shot during 24 hours. Nine of the officers shot were in Phoenix where they were ambushed by an armed subject.
In that case, Phoenix police officers responded to a shooting at a home near Broadway Road and 51st Street. Responding officers moved in when they learned that there was a woman who was critically injured.
They then saw the suspect, Morris Richard Jones, wave them in.
The officer thought Jones was someone who was trying to get the woman help and moved in.
That’s when Jones opened fire striking the first officer several times. Later during the ensuing standoff, an infant was placed on the front porch in a carrier.
As officers moved in to rescue the baby, Jones opened fire again striking additional officers. Officers who were not shot during the incident were injured when they were struck by shrapnel.
Thankfully, the nine officers who were injured during this all received non-life-threatening injuries. Jones was found later after he committed suicide.
In Maryland, two police officers were shot and wounded when two officers from the Frederick Police Department responded to a man acting strangely in the area of Key Parkway and Waverly Drive.
As officers responded, dispatchers advised them the suspect was armed.
Shortly after the officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, identified as Dominque Lewis, began to walk away from the officers when they ordered him to show them his hands.
As he walked away, he abruptly turned around and opened fire on the officers with a .45 caliber handgun, striking them in the torso area.
The officers were able to return fire, striking Lewis in the torso area. All three were transported to a local hospital and thankfully both officers have already been released.
Lewis is expected to recover, and he faces several charges, including the attempted murder of a police officer.
In New Mexico, another police officer was shot and wounded, this time during a vehicle pursuit. This incident started when the New Mexico State Police Officer responded to a female who had locked herself in a bathroom.
When the officer arrived at the scene, the woman, later identified as Alanna Martinez, had gotten into a vehicle with her boyfriend, Caleb Elledge.
The officer approached the pair to ensure they were okay when Elledge allegedly rammed the officer’s marked police vehicle and sped away from the area.
The officer pursued Elledge and ended up performing a PIT maneuver to end the vehicle pursuit. When both vehicles stopped, Elledge allegedly exited his vehicle and opened fire on the officer, striking him in the neck. The officer was able to return fire as Elledge and Martinez fled the area on foot.
The officer was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for what appears to be non-life-threatening injuries. Both Elledge and Martinez were taken into custody on February 12th without incident.
Then in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia Police SWAT officer was shot during a search warrant. Fox 29 reports that the SWAT team breached the apartment and were met with gunfire from one of the suspects inside.
One of the SWAT officers was struck when the suspect fired his weapon, but thankfully, the rounds impacted his bullet-resistant vest which stopped them.
Thankfully, the officer was not severely injured from the attack and the suspect was taken into custody.
Smith noted the significant increase in violence towards police officers as her reasoning for claiming there is a war on police. She said that while police have always known there is a risk they may be killed every time they walk out the door, it is seemingly worse now because of anti-police rhetoric. She said:
“When you constantly tell people that this one entity – somebody in a blue or a bright green uniform – is dangerous to you and that you should resist them, of course, we’re going to have increased attacks on law enforcement. And unfortunately, not only has it become a big media issue, but it’s become a huge political issue.”
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