Three people are dead and several are wounded after 43-year-old David Hernandez Arroyo opened fire with an AK-47 in Tyler near the Smith County Courthouse around 1:25 Thursday afternoon.
Officers say Arroyo shot and killed his ex-wife, Maribel Estrada, and Mark Allen Wilson, identified as bystander with a concealed weapons permit who had tried to help.
Arroyo's son was shot in the legs and is in fair condition. Sheriff's Deputy Sherman Dollison is in critical condition at East Texas Medical Center after being shot four times. A Tyler Police Detective and a Sheriff's Lieutenant were both treated and released.
Deputy US Marshal John Walker told the associated press that Arroyo had a rifle, and he was shooting at the back of the courthouse. Witnesses say he ran out of bullets at one point, re-loaded his AK-47, then continued shooting.
Walker says an off-duty Tyler Police Officer then shot Arroyo who got into a pickup and drove away. He then fled the downtown area and headed north. Police gave chase and caught Arroyo on highway 271 north. Arroyo was shot by police and later died.
Police say the firefight began after Arroyo confronted his ex-wife and son on the courthouse steps about unpaid child support. The couple divorced in 2004. Records show their son stepped between his parents as they argued last year, and the ensuing altercation led to the Arroyo's conviction for misdemeanor assault.
Court records also show the father was sentenced February 2, 2005 to nine months probation but received deferred adjudication. His record would have been cleared if he hadn't committed any crimes during that period.
Officers say Arroyo came to the courthouse with the rifle and a bullet proof vest.
Attorney Nathan Hoffman has an office about 50 feet from where the shooting took place. Hoffman told the associated press that he heard a shot, went to the front door, and saw a man firing at the back door of the courthouse.
Hoffman says the gunman "was walking down the middle of the street shooting."
The lawyer estimates there may have been 50 shots fired. Hoffman managed to lock the front door of the office, then he and his co-workers crawled to a back area of the office as gunshots continued to ring out.