ENNIS — Ellis County Sheriff’s SWAT officers took an armed resident into custody after firing a less-than-lethal round while he sat with a shotgun in a tree Monday evening.
After being hit by the round, the man, whose name is being withheld by ECSO until a psychological evaluation can be completed, surrendered to deputies following the shot.
Deputies first encountered the armed man after being dispatched to a suspicious-person call Monday afternoon. They arrived in the 4000 block of Farm-to-Market Road 85 and Hopewell Road just outside of the Ennis city limits at approximately 2:55 p.m.
“The 911 caller reported her husband was in a tree with a gun,” Ellis County Sheriff’s Office PIO Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald said. “The caller said her husband was having a mental breakdown and needed to go to the hospital for evaluation.”
Ellis County Sheriff’s Lt. Wess Winn said the individual was outside in the open and contained by law enforcement by 4:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. A negotiator had also established communication with the individual.
Radio traffic indicated that the individual was armed with a single-action shotgun. The traffic also noted the man was not thought to have taken any narcotics or prescribed medication but did suffer “a head injury last year.”
At one point during the standoff, the suspect was reported to be flashing a Bible toward officers. The scanner traffic also indicated the suspect appeared to cock the hammer of the shotgun and place his finger on the trigger at approximately 5 p.m.
Fitzgerald later confirmed the resident was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Winn stated that residents in the area were advised to remain in their homes and shelter in place.
Fitzgerald explained that after the man became non-compliant with law enforcement, the SWAT team fired a beanbag round. The round struck the individual who was 25 feet up in the tree.
After being taken into custody, the man was checked by medical personnel and sustained minor injuries. No law enforcement officers were injured. He was then taken for a mental-health evaluation.
Fitzgerald stated criminal charges — aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — are pending at this time. Units cleared the call at about 6:30 p.m.
“Ellis County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Texas Department of Public Safety DPS 101, DPS Highway Patrol, Ennis Police Department, Ennis ISD Police Department, and AMR Medical Response,” Fitzgerald said. “The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens who live in the area of FM 85 for their patience with FM 85 Highway being shut down for several hours.”
*Additional reporting by Travis M. Smith/Daily Light