Witnesses Recall Chilling Details In Tyler Courthouse Shooting - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

2/24/05-Tyler

Witnesses Recall Chilling Details In Tyler Courthouse Shooting

"We heard loud pops over there and we thought it sounded like firecrackers. And then we noticed the man on the street with a rifle and he was shooting at the policeman over at the courthouse and anyone who came down the front court steps."

That's what Skip Mason of Rage Salon saw happening across the street from his downtown business. Everyone was riddled with fear when they saw what happened next.

"And every time the policeman, the one down on the ground, was not dead yet and he would raise his arm to get up and the guy would shoot at him 3 or 4 more times!"

Witnesses say that didn't seem to be the shooter's only target. Dr. Kent Boozer was inside a downtown restaurant eating lunch.

"I came out and saw a guy, a white guy in his 40's or 50's, had an AK-47 firing, pop, pop, pop at the courthouse. He wasn't firing randomly, he was firing at the courthouse."

Witnesses believe that's when a civilian, who was also armed, fired at the shooter to stop him, but his efforts would end in tragedy. "

The guy obviously responded immediately and took his rifle and shot the guy in the head. Right over the truck," says eyewitness Rick Wilbanks.

"It appeared he was very methodic, he wasn't running, he was walking. It was very deliberate. Boom, boom!," describes Dr. Boozer. "He turned around and it was real cold when he shot that guy, I think it was probably 3 rounds into him."

Wilbanks adds, "You could tell that there was probably not much hope because there was a lot of blood. Head wound, very clear head wound."

Wilbanks says he ran to over to the victim after the shooter took off in a truck. That led to a chase that ended on Highway 271.

This is what eyewitness Damian Davis says he saw there.

"Only thing I heard was 2 shots. When we got to Duncan Street they shot him. One cop was over here with an AK-47 and they shot the dude and left."

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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