NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office were forced to shoot a 41-year-old man to death, after he shot at them early Monday morning on County Road 2051, according to Sheriff Jason Bridges.
Bridges said deputies were dispatched to a disturbance at the residence around 1 a.m. and found a man, later identified as John Mark Stevens, 41, with a pistol in his hand.
Bridges said deputies negotiated with Stevens for nearly 45 minutes in his yard while Stevens held onto the gun and entered and exited an exterior shop next to his home. Stevens then started walking toward the deputies and ignored their commands to stop and drop his gun.
Deputies then fired 2 bean bag rounds at Stevens in order to disarm him.
"He just wouldn't drop the gun," said Bridges. "He came walking towards them [the deputies]. At that point they attempted alternate means to deflate the situation, they used non-lethal force, less lethal force is what we call it, with bean bag rounds."
"We do believe that he was struck with a bean bag round but he ran into some bushes and a few seconds later, it's a very unfortunate incident, but he shot at officers," said Bridges. "Several of those rounds struck right near the officers. 3 rounds struck into a patrol unit which several officers were standing beside. They had to fire back."
Deputies then gave medical attention to Stevens until EMS arrived on the scene, Bridges said.
Stevens died at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.
The deputies who shot at Stevens will have mandatory counseling by the DPS crisis team and Texas Ranger, Danny Young, out of Jasper is leading the investigation.
"Texas Rangers and their shooting team came down this morning [Monday]," said Bridges. "We've been on scene since 2 o'clock [Monday] morning and didn't wrap that up until nearly lunch time today. The shooting team has reconstructed the entire site there, seeing what occurred and doing a very thorough investigation into everything so we're not leaving anything unturned as you can imagine."
The sheriff's office is doing its own internal investigation.
Both deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave, Bridges said.
Bridges has not release the names of the two deputies involved.
"One of them had been employed here since 2007," said Bridges. "The other deputy has been employed here since 2009. Very good deputies. They do good work for us."
KTRE has also learned that Stevens had an extensive arrest record.
Stevens was arrested and convicted in October 2002 for Class A misdemeanor, assault causes bodily injury, in San Augustine County.
He was convicted in June 2003 of Class A misdemeanor, assault causes bodily injury, in Nacogdoches County.
Stevens was arrested by the Nacogdoches Police Department in April 2004 for misdemeanor violation of a protect order.
In June 2004, Stevens was arrested by the Nacogdoches sheriff's office on charges of a terroristic threat.
Most recently, Stevens was arrested in December 2012 for assault family violence.