Photo courtesy of Clay County Pioneer-Sentinel
CLAY COUNTY, TX -A Southmayd man man is dead, shot by a Grayson County Sheriff's Deputy, who said the man tried to escape custody. Victoria Maranan spoke with the Grayson County sergeant and brings us the details.
Sgt. Rickey Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff's Office said a local judged ordered for Nathan Gene Pierce to be transported to a state hospital in Wichita Falls from a mental facility here in Sherman. Wheeler said as Pierce was being transported by a sheriff's deputy, Pierce tried to get away.
Sgt. Wheeler said about two hours into the trip, Pierce told the deputy he needed to use the restroom. So, the deputy pulled over at a rest stop on highway 82, just outside of Henrietta.
"At that time the officer and the transportee got out of the car. The transportee, Mr. Pierce assaulted the officer, they were in some type of struggle," he said.
DPS trooper Tony Fulton said during the struggle, the deputy's taser was dislodged.
"Prisoner was able to get a hold of that taser and after he got a hold of that, he then charged towards the deputy who fired one shot, striking Pierce," he said.
The shot struck pierce in the chest. Wheeler said Pierce had to be transported to United Regional Health Care Center in Wichita Falls, where he was pronounced dead.
Wheeler said the deputy was just defending himself.
"He had the taser in his hand. If he tases the deputy, the deputy becomes immobile. Then at that point, the man can take the weapon away from the deputy and kill him," he said.
"Anytime you're transporting a prisoner, theres always a certain level of danger there," said Trooper Fulton.
"Chief Raines, myself and the sheriff went to the location. The sheriff went to check on his deputy to see how he was mentally and physically, and Chief Rains and I are just there strictly for the internal affairs investigation," said Wheeler.
Wheeler said the deputy is on administrative leave until an internal affairs investigation is finished.
"Physically, he was not harmed. Mentally, he's very upset, he's very distraught over what happened," he said.
Wheeler said Pierce was in handcuffs during the trip.
The Texas Rangers and the Clay County Sheriff's Office are investigating this incident. The deputy involved is on leave and his name has not been released.