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Apartment residents react to deputy-involved shooting
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
There are new developments in the shooting of a man accused of firing at Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies. A spokesman for the sheriff's office says the deputies are on paid administrative leave, which is standard in such a case. The man who was shot is in a hospital. His injuries are not life threatening.
Residents drove in and out of the Stone Hurst Apartments, in the 1600 block of East Lucas in Beaumont, as sheriff's deputies searched a crime scene for shell casings.
"They're like friends, I mean they're out doing their job," said apartment resident Sharon Steen, "out to protect us."
Steen heard the shots ring out Thursday night at around 9:23 p.m. and called her friend.
"She said, 'girl, I heard that.' So, I come out the door, and she said, 'well, the police said stay in.' But I can't stay in. I got to get out. I have to see what happened to my neighbors," said Steen.
At first, she didn't know it was gun fire.
"It was like fire crackers, and I'm saying, who's popping firecrackers this time of night?" said Steen. "But it wasn't firecrackers."
Thursday night sheriff's deputies were following a lead at the apartments, investigating a home invasion that happened in Nome earlier this week. Three men robbed and beat 79 year old Betty Kotz.
"They drug me through there, stole all my money, beat me, hit me in the head, busted my head open and everything," said Kotz.
While investigating the apartments Thursday night, deputies came across a man with a pistol. They chased him a short distance, then he turned and opened fire. Deputies fired back, shooting the man twice.
"I'm just glad no residents got hurt," said resident Mae McBride. "That was a blessing."
McBride wasn't home at the time of the shooting, but her 17 year old son was. She's glad he's alright.
"It was crazy," said McBride. "He was nervous and scared."
Residents say the man deputies shot doesn't live here, and they're shocked something like this happened at these apartments.
"This is a nice place to live in," said Steen. "People come in every day you know, so anything could happen."
"It's real nice, calm, quiet," said McBride. "So, this was really scary for us."
Residents hope their apartment complex returns to its usual peace and quiet. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says it won't release the name of the suspect until charges are filed. He underwent surgery for his two gun shot wounds and is in stable condition.