LUFKIN, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The bodycam footage from the Lufkin Police Department can be seen in the YouTube link below.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) has identified the suspect in an alleged chase and hostage situation that occurred Monday night as Timothy Gorko, 37, of Rusk.
According to the CCSO, deputies were en route to Gorko's home around 7:30 p.m., on reports of a disturbance during which Gorko shot at his girlfriend and another woman.
Deputies say they arrived at the home to find Gorko leaving as the passenger in his neighbor’s car. Officials Gorko had asked the neighbor for a ride and the neighbor was unaware Gorko had a gun at the time.
A short time later, Cherokee County dispatchers received a 911 call from inside the vehicle. Authorities say the caller, Gorko’s neighbor, said Gorko had him at gunpoint and would not let him stop the vehicle. They began to head toward Angelina County.
The neighbor told officers Gorko pulled the gun on him and told him to drive once deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
"911 dispatchers attempted to de-escalate the situation by talking to the suspect on the phone and later attempted to patch a Lufkin Police Department crisis negotiator through to talk the suspect into surrendering," the LPD said. "The suspect made threats against the hostage and ceased all communication."
The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office successfully stopped the vehicle with spikes on U.S. 69 at State Highway 7. The vehicle came to a stop on U.S. 69 just south of the State Supported Living Center a short time later around 8:20 p.m.
**GRAPHIC WARNING: The body cam footage can be found below and may not be suitable for all viewers.
"Officers observed the suspect still holding the handgun toward the hostage and gave him commands to put the gun down," the LPD said. "After the suspect refused to follow the commands, Lufkin police officers fired at the suspect to rescue the hostage. The suspect was struck in the neck with rifle rounds and was removed from the vehicle."
Gorko was also struck in the shoulder. The neighbor was uninjured.
Officials say officers began first aid on Gorko who was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released into the custody of Cherokee County law enforcement.
Gorko was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.
Gorko is facing the following charges:
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Two counts of aggravated assault
- Manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance
- Evading arrest with a vehicle.
Gorko has a lengthy criminal history with numerous felony charges and is a registered sex offender, according to officials.
This investigation is in its early stages and will be investigated by the Texas Rangers as is the LPD's standard policy.