Suspect identified in hammer beating of elderly ETX couple - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

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Suspect identified in hammer beating of elderly ETX couple

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Michael Ferris. Photo source: Panola County Jail. Michael Ferris. Photo source: Panola County Jail.
TATUM, TX (KLTV) -

Police have identified the suspect in Thursday's violent home invasion as Michael Ferris of Longview. 

Tatum Police said Ferris attacked an elderly man and a woman with a claw hammer on Highway 43, on the Panola County side of Tatum.

Family members said both the man and the woman are hospitalized, but their conditions are stable. 

"It shocked me being in the city of Tatum. We have real good people who live here. It's a good community... it scared us," said Tony Almengor, Lieutenant with the Tatum Police Department. 

Police tell us the man, identified only as Mr. Wagstaff, and a woman who has not been identified were at home when they became victims of a violent home intrusion.

"That was a pretty bad scene; there was a lot of blood. It was pretty gruesome," Lt. Almengor explained. 

Police said Ferris barged into the home to burglarize it, but left with nothing after beating both Wagstaff and the woman with a claw hammer.

Wagstaff called police and was able to describe Ferris, who took off on foot. Immediately, the couple was taken to the hospital while police set out on a three hour man hunt. 

That manhunt triggered a lockdown at Tatum schools, with people warned the suspect was on the loose. 

Patrick Mcpeek,26, was warned, but still found himself in the middle of it all.

"The guy grabs my shoulder, pulls me off on the ground, I go rolling down the pavement, the scooter does too. I mean, that's where I sustained the injuries on my feet," Mcpeek said as he pointed to cuts and scrapes. 

Ferris was after Mcpeek's motorized scooter, but when Mcpeek hit the ground, police rolled up. Mcpeek says that timing probably saved his life.

"I'm a good six inches taller than him, and I don't think I would have stood a chance because of his demeanor and mentality. Someone who was belligerent with a hammer not twelve hours earlier...nothing's going to get in their way, absolutely nothing," Mcpeek said. 

Ferris was interrogated Thursday afternoon. He is in the Panola County Jail charged with two charges of attempted murder and two charges of injury to elderly. Ferris is being held on $4 million bond. 

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