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Woodville residents share the terrifying moment when Tyler County deputies fatally shot a man who shot a police officer

Three deputies are on leave following the shooting that happened Sunday.

WOODVILLE, Texas — Three Tyler County deputies are on administrative leave after a man suspected of shooting a Woodville police officer in the face Sunday.

RELATED: Officer-involved shooting leaves officer shot in the face, suspect dead

At around 7:20 a.m. Troy Costello, a Woodville police officer responded to a call of a man causing a disturbance at 200 block of Shivers Drive according to a Woodville Police Department news release.

The suspect, identified as Reginal Owens, 41, of Hemphill, was seen in a white pick up truck. Costello attempted to talk to the Owens but he ignored Costello's verbal commands to stop and continued driving away.

Costello pursued and was able to stop the truck. When he approached the truck's driver side Owens shot Costello in the face according to the release. He then left the scene.

The truck was later spotted back near the 200 block of Shivers Dr. and Tyler County Deputies arrived to assist.

Witnesses observed Owens flee the scene into a wooded area south of Shivers Dr. according to the release. Several deputies along with Woodville Police Officers set up a search perimeter in the area.

Owens was spotted by deputies exiting the wooded area with a handgun in his waistband.

Deputies gave the Owens multiple warnings to put his gun down, but he continued to ignore their commands, the release states.

When Owens made a move towards his gun, multiple deputies shot him according to the release.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and Justice of Peace Precinct 1, Tina Self, ordered an autopsy.

Residents of a small apartment community in Woodville witnessed the fatal shooting.

"I went outside and I had seen this cop shoot this guy 4 times," said Rebecca Curtis.

Curtis told 12News she was outside her apartment when deputies shot and killed Owens. At the time she and her neighbors didn't realize Owens was wanted for shooting an officer in the face.

"I come out the kitchen and I hear, 'halt.' Somebody said 'halt.' Then somebody said, 'shoot.' and that's when I heard all the shots. And police were lined up right there and then I looked over that way and the body was laying down beside the street," said another resident.

Residents of the community were left shocked and traumatized by the event.

"It's scary no matter what when it comes to anybody it's just scary. I'm thankful that God was watching over us because if it wasn't God, then things would have ended up totally different," said Curtis.

Some of the bullets hit the apartment community, coming too close for comfort.

"It traumatized me I can't sleep in there right now," the resident said. "I'm just not happy about it. I could have been in there you know? Me and my grandbaby could have been hit. So I'm not happy about it."

Costello is in stable condition in a Houston hospital.

DPS are the lead agency in the investigation into the shooting according to Chief McCulley.

From a Woodville Police Department news release:

On September 17, 2023, at approximately 7:15 am,  a Call for Service was made to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department, requesting an Officer respond to the 200 blk of Shivers Dr. in reference to a suspicious male subject causing a disturbance.  Officer Troy Costello responded to the location.  The male subject was observed in a white colored pick up truck on Shivers Dr.  Officer Costello attempted to make contact with the male subject.  The driver ignored the Officer’s verbal commands to stop and continued driving away.  Officer Costello pursued the suspect vehicle down Shivers onto MLK Dr for several blocks.  Officer Costello radioed for assistance while pursuing the suspect’s vehicle.    Officer Costello continued pursuing the vehicle down MLK Dr. onto South Pecan St.  Officer Costello attempted to stop the suspect vehicle again by blocking him into a private driveway.  The suspect vehicle continued evading the Officer by driving in reverse down South Pecan St., finally stopping near the intersection of Pecan St. and Cardinal Dr.  Officer Costello approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and was shot by the suspect.  After shooting the Officer, the suspect left the scene in the vehicle.  The suspect vehicle was later spotted back near the 200 blk of Shivers Dr.  Deputies with Tyler County Sheriff’s Department arrived to assist.  Witnesses observed the male suspect flee the scene into a wooded area south of Shivers Dr.  Several Deputies along with Woodville PD Officers set up a search perimeter in the area.  At approximately 8:24 am,  Deputies observed the male suspect exit the wooded area. The suspect was observed with a handgun in his waistband.  Deputies gave the suspect numerous commands to stop and laydown with arms extended.  Suspect continued to ignore the Deputies repeated commands.  The suspect was noncompliant and hostile towards the officers and made an aggressive movement toward the handgun that was in his waistband. The suspect was fired upon by multiple officers. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and Justice of Peace Precinct 1, Tina Self , ordered an autopsy. The suspect has been identified as Reginal Owens, 41, of Hemphill, TX. The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation of both shootings.  Officer Costello was air lifted to a hospital in Houston for treatment and was last reported to be in stable condition undergoing surgery. Officer Costello has been with the Woodville Police Department for almost 5 years and previously worked for the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department.  Our Department asks the public to keep Officer Costello and his family in your prayers.   

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