Woodville man dies after shootout with deputies

Dennis Murray (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Dennis Murray (Source: Angelina County Jail)

WOODVILLE, TX (KTRE) - A man accused of sexually assaulting someone died after becoming involved in a shooting with several law enforcement officers Tuesday night. No officers were hurt.

The shooting started following a high-speed chase from the Warren area and ended in the residence of the suspect, Dennis Ray Murray Jr., 40, of Woodville, according to  a press release from the Tyler County Sheriff's Office.

"Mr. Murray showed up in a pick-up truck, and the complainant stated he's threatened to kill her and he's got two guns in the car," Bud Sturrock, the chief investigator for the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, said.

Murray stopped at his residence on the 500 block of Lyndale Street after deputies used road spikes to flatten his tires. Once Murray stopped at his residence, deputies ordered him out of his vehicle.

Instead, Murray pointed a long-barreled gun at them, prompting two deputies to shoot at him.  It appears at least one of the bullets hit Murray, knocking him unconscious. A Woodville Police officer assisting in the case then approached Murray to disarm him and Murray then woke up and fired a shot at the officer and missed him.

The officer then removed the gun from Murray and Murray grabbed a second rifle out of the vehicle. The officer struggled with Murray and a third deputy then fired two shots at Murray.

Officers on the scene and an EMS crew worked to revive Murray but were not successful. He was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. at a Woodville hospital.

The case began at 10:10 p.m. when a deputy was dispatched to a caller at a residence on US 69, just north of Warren, who said she was sexually assaulted. The deputy arrived at 10:25 p.m. and while interviewing the victim, Murray drove into the driveway. The victim said Murray was the one who assaulted her and told the deputy he had two rifles and had threatened to kill her.

The deputy ordered Murray to show his hands, but instead Murray sped out of the driveway, which began the pursuit into Woodville.

Deputies, Woodville PD and state troopers assisted in the chase.

"The pursuit began in Warren and the chase lasted 12 miles to Murray's Woodville residence," Sturrock said. "At the Woodville City Limits the Deputy did not know enough information at the time about where the gentleman may be living at, in the Woodville area and followed him down to his Lyndale address."

Per standard procedure, the three deputies who fired their guns have been placed on paid leave until an investigation is complete.

Sheriff David Hennigan said he has asked the Texas Rangers to handle the investigation.

Murray had numerous previous convictions on his record. In addition to numerous possession charges, he convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in August 1994 and sentenced to an eight-year prison term with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Murray was tried and sentenced in Angelina County's 159th District Court.

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