VAN ZANDT CO. (KYTX) - A Van Zandt County man is charged with attempted capital murder after shooting at a deputy's patrol car, and claiming a body was inside his house.
On Sunday June 6, 2014, at approximately 2:50 pm, a Van Zandt County Deputy arrived at a rural residence located at 350 Van Zandt County Road 2140, Canton in response to a citizen's call for service, a criminal trespass complaint, which had been reported by the resident who was later identified as Stephen Garrett Martin.
Shortly after arriving at the residence and before he was able to exit the patrol car, the deputy heard a loud noise coming from what he believed to be the front of the residence and simultaneously observe a dog which had been lying on the front porch of the home quickly startle, jump up and run away very quickly. At that moment, the deputy heard a second loud noise coming from the residence and suddenly felt a violent vibration coming from the front bumper area of his patrol car. It was later determined that bullets had struck the patrol car.
The deputy then observed Martin standing in the front doorway area of the residence holding a handgun. The deputy realized the suspect was shooting at him.
The deputy quickly put his patrol car in reverse gear and in an attempt to flee from the shooting, accelerated toward County Road 2140. As the deputy continued to flee from Martin, his patrol car struck a metal gate, a fencepost, and a barbed wire fence near the entrance onto the property.
The deputy continued to observe Martin who had come out of the residence and was now standing on the front porch, still holding the handgun.
The deputy opened the door of his patrol car and at gunpoint ordered Martin to put the weapon down and put his hands up. Martin complied with the orders given by the deputy.
A short time later, a Van Police Officer arrived at the location and the officers instructed Martin to walk toward them with his hands up.
He complied with the officer's commands and he was then taken into custody without further incident.
Martin was then informed by the officers that he was under arrest, and a subsequent frisk of the suspect revealed a second fully loaded handgun secreted in the waistband of his pants.
After being place into custody, Martin informed the officers that there was a body inside his house and also stated that there were two men in camouflage hiding in the trees in his front yard, one on each side of the driveway.
When additional officers arrived at the location, a sweep of the home and yard was conducted. Officers determined there was not a body inside the home and there were no men in trees in the front yard of the residence.
During the safety search of the house, Deputies and Police Officers observed numerous weapons inside the residence and also observed the interior of the home to be in disarray appearing to have been shot up with firearms.
Martin was transported to the Van Zandt County Jail to be confined for Attempted Capital Murder of a Peace Officer.