PolkCountyToday.com is reporting that a man who was involved in a shootout with police in Polk County on Tuesday afternoon has died from his gunshot wounds, while one of the officers at the scene had a minor injury. The incident occurred at a Valero convenience store in the small town of Onalaska, which is about 90 minutes west of Jasper on Highway 190, near Lake Livingston.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Stephanie Davis on Wednesday identified the man as 20-year-old Eugene Frank Smith II, of Onalaska. Davis said Smith was an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, having been hired as a prison guard in October of last year.
Onalaska Mayor Roy Newport says three officers were involved in the shootout when they responded to the store after they received a report of a man on the parking lot wielding a shotgun.
Newport said when the first officer arrived at the scene, Smith opened fire on her patrol car before she ever got out.
According to Newport, additional officers quickly arrived and exchanged gunfire with the man, striking him. He later died in a Livingston hospital.
One of the officers had minor injuries after being struck by pellets, and two of the city’s patrol cars were also shot and damaged.
The case has been turned over to the Texas Rangers for investigation.