Authorities arrest man suspected in Nacogdoches Co., Tyler shootings

Michael Hail photo courtesy of Tyler PD.
Michael Hail photo courtesy of Tyler PD.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

Nacogdoches County, TX (KTRE) - Authorities have arrested a Louisiana man suspected in shootings in Nacogdoches County and Tyler.

Michael Hail, 52, formerly of Nacogdoches, was arrested at around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Baton Rouge, La., by the east Baton Rouge sheriff's office. Hail was located and taken into custody without incident after he contacted a relative who convinced him to surrender, according to Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss.  Hail is facing charges of deadly conduct, endangering a child and aggravated assault.

"I was just trying to be calm and collected," the relative said. "I said, tell you what. You haven't made me many promises in my life but I guarantee you better make this one. You want to be a man and earn my respect, then you have me on the phone when the cops get there when you turn yourself in. He went home, cleaned up. We sat and talked for about 30 minutes until the cops showed up and he said he had the door wide open waiting for them."

Hail will be held in the east Baton Rouge prison until extradition arrangements can be made.

Hail will have an opportunity to waive extradition. If that happens Nacogdoches County will obtain a governor's warrant to bring him back to Texas.

"He had no recollection that he did anything," said Hail's family member. "He says the only thing he remembers is being in a high speed chase in Tyler."

According to the Nacogdoches county sheriff's office report, deputies answered a call on the 4600 block of State Highway 21 west at 1:36 a.m. The woman who lived there was a co-worker of Hail's according to the woman. Nobody was injured. Five bullet holes are visible in the home.

In a telephone interview, the woman said she worked with Hail but was not involved with him romantically. The sheriff said investigators are "getting closer" to understanding the relationship. The sheriff's office report stated she had filed a harassment complaint against him in September.

The woman's dog alerted her to Hail driving up. "She saw Hail carrying a gun. She immediately grabbed her sleeping 3 year old son and a cell phone," said Sheriff Kerss. "

She hid the child in a closet and called 911.  The dispatcher could hear the gunshot blasts in the background," said Kerss.

Hail then is believed to have traveled to Tyler. He was spotted in south Tyler around 5:30 a.m. Police say Hail fired a round from a shotgun into the vehicle driven by his ex-wife. She wasn't hurt. Police say he also threatened to shoot his son in San Marcos.

"Just that he's going down some list that he had made on selecting victims was a concern for them," said Kerss. Authorities were concerned Hail could be set off by a random stranger.

Kerss said the son told investigators that his father told him he had dismantled the shotgun and thrown the pieces along the roadway between Tyler and Baton Rouge.

The unanswered question is what was going through Hail's mind at the time.

"Now it's really just a mystery as to what set this chain of events in motion for him and why he would have done the things he did," Kerss said.

Even with Hail behind bars, some family members remain fearful.

"We've already had some other family members contacting us with concerns that he could possibly try to bond out of jail or something like that," said Kerss

Arrangements to get Hail back to Texas are underway. Perhaps then, his explanations will follow.

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