TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email
TYLER COUNTY, TEXAS (KTRE) - Tyler County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting death of two elderly men which authorities believe stemmed from a land dispute.
Around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, law enforcement responded to a shots fired call on County Road 2150, off FM 256, west of Woodville.
Deputies said 73-year-old Preston Irvin Broom, Sr. and 78-year-old Leo Henry Broom were found shot near their residences on County Road 2150.
Preston Broom was transported to the Tyler County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Leo Broom was pronounced dead at his residence by a justice of the peace.
A Department of Public Safety trooper spotted and arrested the suspect, 77-year-old Donald David Legg, of Shreveport. He was found on County Road 2150, reportedly cutting barbed wire with wire cutters, after the shootings.
Sheriff David Hennigan said Legg and his wife have been feuding with the Broom family over the land since the early 1980s. Preston Broom and Leo Broom, who are cousins, did not even own the land, but lived on separate houses on the settlement.
All for a fence line.
"We was all like family," said family friend Edgar Mitchell. "We all went to church together. He made the brags he was going to kill all of the Brooms. He got two of them."
Mitchell says two of his best friends were gunned down in cold blood.
"When Preston came by on the four-wheeler, he pulled the gun out of the truck and shot him twice," Mitchell said.
Leo Broom was shot in the back just 15 feet from his home.
"Leo was laying there and he was just over there cutting the fence," Mitchell said.
"He's very adamant," Hennigan said. "It's just that he's very matter of fact. This is my land. It belongs to me and it seems that's what he's operating from."
"He knew what he was doing," Mitchell said. "This feud's been going on a long time. Over a piece of land."
The cut wires are the last visible remains of a long-standing land dispute that ended in a heinous crime.
Mitchell tells us Legg made threats, just days before the shootings.
"He made the brags that he was going to kill all the Brooms," Mitchell said. "That's why you don't see nobody at this house down here. Every body's gone."
"I'm still reeling from the fact that it even happened," he said.
Legg is being held in the Tyler County Sheriff's Office Jail, charged with two counts of capital murder. His bond is set at $5 million.