Suspect in Texas deputy's death arrested

August 3, 2012 2:08:02 AM PDT
A 17-hour standoff between law enforcement officers and a man suspected of fatally shooting a West Texas sheriff's deputy ended with the alleged gunman's capture Thursday.

Following attempts by the Texas Rangers to communicate with the suspect through the night, a tactical team surrounded a house in Big Lake and 42-year-old Marcus Wade Madison walked out around 11:30 a.m. with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face, Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Phillip Dean said.

Madison was arrested on a warrant for attempted capital murder and taken to a hospital in San Angelo where he will remain under guard until he's well enough to go to jail, Dean said, adding that the man's injuries were not life-threatening. The charge will be upgraded to capital murder, the trooper said.

Reagan County Sheriff Jeff Garner said the man had been barricaded in the house since about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday. Deputy Josh Mitchell had been killed a short time before. Multiple firearms were found inside the home, which is about 160 miles southwest of Abilene.

Garner told the San Angelo Standard-Times that Mitchell had gone to the house to talk to Madison about a complaint. The sheriff said the complaint was more personal in nature than criminal, but he declined to elaborate.

Dean told The Associated Press that Mitchell went to the house "on official business" but he had no further details.

The deputy was shot at or near the house about 6 p.m. and taken to a hospital in Big Lake where he died.

Mitchell began working at the Reagan County Jail in 2005 at age 18. He worked his way up in law enforcement, becoming a licensed peace officer four years ago, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. He turned 26 on July 22.

"Josh Mitchell was a fine young man, he was an excellent officer," said Garner, who had known him and his family for years. "He was not the kind you can just replace."

More than 80 officers from area agencies were at the scene to support and assist the sheriff's department during the standoff, Dean said. The Texas Rangers are leading the ongoing investigation.

"All law enforcement is less today because of this life that was taken," Dean said. "There's no words for it. It's just sad."

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