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Sheriff's Office: Motorcyclist possibly died from self-inflicted gunshot wound during shootout with Jefferson County deputies

Brandon Wilder, 33, from Indiana died at the scene from what officials believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Neither deputy was injured in the shooting.

CHINA, Texas — A man is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with a pair of Jefferson County deputies along U.S. Highway 90 in China early Tuesday morning.

A deputy was driving eastbound along U.S. Highway 90 west of Beaumont just after 1 a.m., Tuesday morning, when they had to pull over to avoid being hit by a motorcycle going westbound in the eastbound traffic lanes, according to Capt. Crystal Holmes of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy began to chase the motorcyclist and was quickly joined by a deputy in another patrol unit before the motorcycle pulled over along U.S. Highway 90 at East Railroad St., in China. The driver has been identified as 33-year-old Brandon Wilder from Indiana, Holmes said.

Wilder immediately got off of the bike and began firing a handgun at the two deputies, who did fire back, according to Holmes.

After he fell to the ground deputies gave him CPR until firefighters and medics from Emergency Services District Number Three arrived.

Holmes tells 12News Wilder died at the scene from what they believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Wilder had an outstanding felony warrant in Texas, according to Holmes. 

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is working in conjunction with the Texas Rangers on the investigation. 

Neither deputy was injured in the shooting which left a bullet hole in the deputies' patrol unit.

Deputies did find the man's handgun at the scene according to a news release from the sheriff's office..

The autopsy, ordered by Judge Justin Chesson, is scheduled for Wednesday. 

The two deputies will be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

The Texas Rangers will be investigating the shooting which is standard procedure in a shooting involving law enforcement.

The last time a Jefferson County deputy was involved in a shooting was in November 2020 when a 59-year-old man was fatally shot by a deputy during a standoff.

The man had barricaded himself in a home n the north end of the county and was threatening to kill his father according the office of the Texas Attorney General.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

Read the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office news release...

At 1:04 this morning, 02/07/2023, A JCSO deputy was patrolling eastbound on Hwy 90 when he observed a motorcycle traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of traffic.

 The deputy activated his lights and siren and conducted a traffic stop of the motorcycle on Hwy 90 near Broadway, China, Texas. 

The rider of the motorcycle stopped, pulled out a handgun and began firing at the deputies.  The deputies returned fire.  The armed suspect fell to the ground. Deputies administered CPR until ESD3 arrived.

 Despite efforts to revive the suspect, he passed away on the scene.  Investigators did recover his firearm at the scene. 

Judge Chesson has ordered an autopsy.  The Texas Rangers will be conducting the investigation. 

As per policy, both Deputies will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

 The next of kin has not been identified therefore we will not be releasing the deceased's name.  Any additional information will have to come from the Texas Rangers.

Updated Jefferson County Sheriff's Office news release...

The family of the deceased has been notified.  The deceased has been identified as 33 year old Brandon Wilder of Indiana.  After exchanging gunfire with Deputies, Wilder turned his gun on himself.  The autopsy, ordered by Judge Chesson, is scheduled for tomorrow.  

During the investigation, it was found that Wilder had an outstanding Felony Warrant here in Texas.  The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is working in conjunction with the Texas Rangers on the investigation.  Additional information is expected tomorrow afternoon.  

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