Widow of man killed in deputy-involved shooting: 'He had a lot of pain in his heart'

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There are two angles when reporting Monday's shooting. We first told you about the incident itself. Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office deputies say they were forced to shoot John Mark Stevens when he shot at them Monday night. As is the practice, the two deputies are now on administrative leave as a Texas Ranger's investigation continues.

East Texas News sat down with Stevens' widow Tuesday, just one day after her husband and the father of four children died so tragically an unexpectedly. It was the kind of conversation usually shared with only the closest of friends and family.

Less than two weeks ago, Camille Floyd Stevens shared on Facebook what appears to be a photo of a picture-perfect family. She and her husband John, two stepsons, their daughter, and their blue-eyed baby portray no difficulties, only happiness.

Tuesday, sadness overwhelms Camille. She's sharing her pain.

"So, I want to say thank you," Camille Stevens said. "Sure, this has been a horrible, horrible tragedy to go through, and hopefully this will be the most painful thing I'll ever have to go through because it hurts pretty bad."

The wife and mother wants to show others her faith will get her through the darkest times.

"I don't have to worry because I know God is going to provide," Camille Stevens said.

Camille chooses to remember her husband as a caring spouse and father.

"My husband loved showing people God's love," Camille Stevens said with a sigh. "He had a big heart for serving those who were lost and maybe lost their direction."

Those closest to the Stevens say John vacillated from good to evil. The 41-year-old had extreme outbursts of anger. The anger led to numerous arrests and most recently an investigation by Child Protective Services. On Monday morning, Camille wanted her husband to surrender.

His pastor said there was no physical or mental ailments, nor addictions.

"He had a lot of old hurt that he was holding onto that he couldn't release," said Joe Dagostino, the pastor of Nacogdoches' First Church of the Nazarene. "And I just feel like it semi-plagued him a little bit."

John had a troubled side that Camille Stevens had to deal with.

"He had a lot of pain in his heart," Camille Stevens said.

Camille doesn't want to focus on the negative. All her energy is directed to her first priority.

"My number one goal now that my husband is gone is to protect my family, to provide for them," Camille Stevens said. "I don't have any answers, but I know the Lord will show me the way."

It began with a church family laying their hands upon Camille and praying over her.

In addition, they turn to the community to help the family in dire financial need.

"We set up a fund here at the church," Dagostino said. "And we're going to first work on paying off the funeral and from there helping the family, and all the funds will go straight to the family."

"I read his word, and his word is living, and he means those promises. You can stand on them and you can rest on them," Camille Stevens said.

Camille Stevens chose not to comment about the deputies' actions.

Checks for the children's fund can be sent to the First Church of the Nazarene in Nacogdoches. The church us located at 211 SE Stallings Drive.

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