Three Killed, Including Gunman In Smith County Courthouse Shoot-out In Tyler

Published: Feb. 24, 2005 at 6:35 PM CST|Updated: Jun. 17, 2005 at 9:20 AM CDT
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Tyler Police have confirmed two people outside the Smith County Courthouse have been killed after dozens of shots were fired starting just before 1:30 PM Thursday.

The two killed at the courthouse have now been identified: Maribel Estrada, the estranged wife of the alleged shooter, David Hernandez Arroyo, and citizen Mark Wilson. Wilson is licensed to carry a concealed weapon and fired several shots at Arroyo. Arroyo, however, was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Four other people were injured in the shooting. Those have been identified as a Tyler Police Detective, Two Smith County Sheriff's Deputies and Arroyo's son.

The Arroyos were at the courthouse for a child support hearing said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle.

Unidentified Witness: "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"

According to witnesses, the gunman fired numerous shots from the street toward the courthouse. Several law officers returned fire. It was a shoot-out that lasted several minutes. Windows shattered at businesses around the courthouse as bullets flew in many directions.

KLTV 7 photojournalist Chris Howell and reporter Julie Tam were in Judge Cynthia Kent's courtroom when a gunshot was heard. Moments later, two women ran into the courtroom screaming. The minutes that ensued had numerous officers with guns drawn, police shielded by vehicles with large assault weapons, and citizens, and even Judge Kent herself, crouched down to stay out of the line of fire.

The suspect then fled the downtown area and headed north. Police gave chase and caught the suspect on Highway 271 North. David Hernandez Arroyo fired shots at officers during the pursuit, Police Chief Gary Swindle said. Arroyo was then shot and killed by police.

Those wounded are Arroyo's son, 22 year old David Arroyo, Jr. He was shot in the leg and was in surgery Thursday evening. Also, Smith County Deputy 28-year-old Sherman Dollison is in critical condition, and also was in surgery. Tyler Police Detective Marvin Sewell is in good condition. Tyler Police Officer Clay Parrot was treated and released.

All of the shooting victims have been taken to ETMC in Tyler.

Stay tuned to KLTV 7 and for the latest.