ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – According to the Texas Rangers, an Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot by Terry Lee Countryman Jr. after two gun battles Saturday.
The deputy, identified to KETK by family members as Deputy Bradley Colman, was shot at the Hickory Ridge Mobile Home Park on FM 320 while reportedly investigating a stolen vehicle.
The suspect fled the scene in the deputy’s vehicle.
DPS troopers who were called in to assist arrived on the scene and provided first aid. Other troopers assisted in the search for and pursuit of Countryman.
Deputy Colman was airlifted to a Tyler hospital, where he underwent surgery and is currently in critical condition.
Multiple law enforcement agencies joined in the search for Countryman, who was found a short distance from the scene of the shooting. Countryman, still driving the deputy’s car, rammed a Palestine Police Department vehicle and shot at officers.
The stolen vehicle was disabled and the Countryman fled on foot with a rifle taken from inside the deputy’s vehicle. He then stole another vehicle and fled again.
The suspect was located again, crashed and then fled on foot into a wooded area.
According to DPS, a trooper located Countryman at about 5:30 p.m. near FM 2330 and County Road 458 in Montalba. Countryman pointed a rifle at the trooper, who fired back in response and hit him.
Countryman’s past is littered with arrests in multiple states.
He was arrested in 2014 and 2015 in Anderson County, then in Florida several times for the next three years. In 2016, he was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug equipment. He was arrested again in 2016, for an out-of-county warrant and for jumping bail later that year. Possession of methamphetamine landed Countryman in jail once more in 2017. In 2018, he found himself behind bars yet again for auto theft, fraud, and eluding police. That same year, his bond was revoked.
Countryman was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
According to a Facebook post, the family of Deputy Coleman have flown in from Iowa and they will be staying in a hotel in Tyler until he is better. The Anderson County Sheriffs Office is accepting monetary donations to help defray costs of the family’s hotel and meal costs. If you would like to donate, please contact Jennifer Montoya, Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant, at 903-731-8228 or at 1200 East Lacy Street.
According to sources, the deputy went to a mobile home park on FM 320 to check on a suspected stolen vehicle. While there, according to witness accounts, the suspect opened fire on the deputy, shooting several times and striking the deputy at least once.
A source says the deputy was airlifted to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect fled the scene and a manhunt by authorities ensued. He has not yet been apprehended.
This is a developing story and KETK will update as more details become available.