Second Wilson County deputy-involved shooting in two days puts woman in hospital

Woman shot by deputy while leaning out window holding a shotgun

WILSON COUNTY, Texas – The Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said an deputy-involved shooting north of Stockdale on Sunday morning was "clean," but the victim's fiance said she didn't have a chance.

A Wilson County Sheriff's Office deputy shot a woman twice while responding to a 911 call. The caller said an intoxicated woman was shooting outside and inside a house," Tackitt said.

After the deputy arrived on the scene and identified himself, a man came out on the porch with a rifle, Tackitt said. The deputy ordered the man to put down the rifle. Meanwhile, a woman who was at the window backed away and came back with a shotgun, Tackitt said.

Tackitt said the woman stuck the shotgun out the window and told the deputy to "get off her property. It was private property."

The deputy fired twice, hitting her in the forearm and abdomen.

The woman was airlifted to University Hospital where Tackitt said she was operated on. Her fiance, Richard Berry, said she was brought into surgery again Monday afternoon.

KSAT 12 is not identifying the woman without first having a copy of the police report.

Berry was the man with the rifle in the sheriff's account of events.

"You didn't give her time to do anything," Berry said he told the deputy.

"It was wrong," Berry said.

Berry said he, his fiance, his son and his son's common-law wife were in a family dispute when the deputy showed up. Berry said his fiance had just returned after some time away and was upset by how things were at home.

He said his fiance fired the shotgun outside of the home, near his son and daughter-in-law's room to wake them up. He said she also fired out the window from inside the home.

Berry said he had put on his rifle and a handgun on to go guard the well, which he was worried his son would try to damage.

That's when he said the deputy showed up and started knocking.

"That's what we heard, 'Bang bang bang, Wilson County Sheriff's. Bang bang bang, Wilson County Sheriff,'" Berry said. "So I told her, you stay inside. Don't want you messing with them.'"

Berry said the deputy had his gun drawn already when he went outside. He said the deputy told him "put your weapons down."

That's when Berry said his fiance leaned out the window with the shotgun. He believes she may have thought the deputy was a friend messing around.

"Who are you? You drop your gun,'" he recalled her saying. "And automatically he turned to her and shot."

Berry said the shotgun was not pointed toward the deputy. Tackitt said the shotgun was stuck out the window "like advancing toward the deputy."

Tackitt said his deputy did not knock, but stayed back from the home when he identified himself. Regarding his deputy's decision to shoot, Tackitt said, "She came out the window with the shotgun."

The deputy was placed on administrative leave and the Texas Rangers are investigating.

Berry said he plans to file a suit against the Wilson County Sheriff's Office over the shooting.

A hectic weekend

Sunday's officer-involved shooting was one of two in Wilson County over the weekend, and it's taking a toll on the small department.

Wilson County Sheriff's deputies also shot it out Saturday morning with an alleged car thief. The man was wounded and later died. Tackitt said the three deputies were placed on administrative leave.

Between the two incidents, Tackitt said he's down four officers until the Texas Rangers finish their investigations into the two shootings. That's out of 20 total patrol officers.

Making matters worse, all four deputies were on the same shift, which Tackitt said has just one deputy left.

Tackitt said both incidents were "clean shootings."

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