81-year-old accused of shooting ET Deputy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

81-year-old accused of shooting ET Deputy

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

HARRISON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – Attempted Capital Murder charges have been filed against the man accused of shooting an East Texas deputy.

Merrill Wickware, 81, is accused of shooting the Harrison County Sergeant DJ Couch while she was serving papers at a home on FM 9, near Waskom.

When asked why the man shot at the deputy, Administrative Deputy Jay Webb said, "We don't have a clue."

Investigators say as Sgt. Couch was serving a court ordered seizure on an RV, Wickware emerged from a mobile home and fire a .22 pistol, grazing her head.

"Routine court ordered seizure, however routine is an awful word, you never want to take one of these for granted," said Webb.

After a short stand-off, Wickware was arrested. Investigators say he gave no reason for his actions.

Making things more confusing, investigators say Wickware had no connection at all to the RV.

Webb says, "The RV was on this person's property. We do not know why it was on the property."

It falls within the dangers every officer faces, on even the most routine assignments.

"We don't know what set him off, we don't know exactly why he chose to come out of the mobile home firing on the deputy," says Webb.

Officials say Wickware appeared lucid, and no senile thoughts were noticed.

The good news is that Sgt. Couch only received a minor wound.

"This could have been an absolute tragedy," expressed Webb.

Sgt. Couch has been released from the hospital, and is on administrative leave.

Wickware, who has no criminal past, is being held without bond in the Harrison County Jail.

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