INGLESIDE-ON-THE-BAY, Texas — It is every law enforcement officer's nightmare, a run-in with an armed suspect.
Even worse, a suspect who refuses to put their gun down.
That's exactly what happened early Wednesday morning in the small community of Ingleside-on-the-Bay after officers responded to a call for someone trying to break into a car.
A San Patricio County Sheriff's Deputy and another Ingleside Police Dept. officer fired at that suspect. It happened in an alley behind Woodhaven Drive between Parkview Place and FM 1069 in ingleside on the Bay.
Residents were shocked to hear gunfire in their neighborhood.
“We could hear the gunshots, but we didn't know who was shooting,” said Amber McNeil.
McNeil and her husband were in bed when they heard the gunfire. She remembers hearing two sets of shots, but not the total number.
“I didn't count them because I didn't know where they were coming from so I was scared,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure my kids were OK.”
According to neighbors, the suspect knocked on the front door of a house looking for a place to hide. When he couldn't get in, he ran along the fence into the backyard, which opens into the alley. That's where officers found him.
“They confronted the guy at the back end of the alley,” said San Patricio County Sheriff Oscar Rivera. “He had a weapon with him, they asked him to get on the ground and drop the weapon, he didn't so both officers fired.”
McNeil lives across the street from the house the suspect tried to get into. She says she felt safer when she heard the suspect had been shot.
“He had tried to push into somebody's house,” said McNeil. “Their quick response was a deterrent, it could have gotten a lot worse if he had gotten into somebody's home.”
Ingleside Police Chief Tammy Buff told KRIS Communications that the officers believed they had no other choice but to shoot the suspect.
“The deputy and our officer felt that their lives were in danger, and they fired upon the suspect,” Burr said.
Meanwhile, McNeil is grateful the suspect didn't pick her house.
“He was trying to stay in the shadows, he didn't want to be seen,” said McNeil. “I'm going to make sure my Christmas lights stay on, my porch light stays on from now on, and all my doors are locked.”
The suspect hasn't been identified. He is described as a white male in his early 20's. He told officers he was from Dallas, but they believe he may be from the Rockport area.
He's recovering in the hospital.
The officers involved are now on paid leave, which is standard procedure in cases like this. The Texas Rangers are handling the investigation into the shooting.