LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — A suspect is in custody and a Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputy is in critical condition after a shooting Thursday night in La Grange.
The situation began as Fayette County deputies were trying to serve a felony warrant for a man who failed to register as a sex offender. They approached him at a Dollar General store at 1060 E. State Highway 159, on the northeast side of town.
“The cops walk in and they called him by his name and he told them ‘no.’ Then he pushed one cop backwards and the cop pulled his taser and told him to put his hands up,” said Jimmy Mash who was shopping inside Dollar General at the time.
“And then the guy reached, and shoved him and again and the officer shot him with a taser. All he did was growl at the juice going through him and then he pulled a knife and knocked both officer down and ran out the store,” said Mash.
Officials say one deputy was cut on the hand by the suspect before he ran to a room at an area motel and barricaded himself inside.
Mash says he’s seen the suspect at Carter Motel before and says he’s been living there. Mash just so happens to live in the room next to the suspect and ran after him when he left Dollar General.
“I was opening my door when they started shooting. All I know is get low and I dove in the door and laid on the floor and kicked the door shut and grabbed my dogs,” said Mash.
A four-hour standoff ensued, ending with a deputy being shot and the man in custody. The sheriff’s office said the deputy, 32-year-old Calvin “CJ” Lehmann, is still in critical condition as of Friday morning at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
The sheriff’s office said Lehmann, who is a single father of three daughters, volunteered to take the lead in breaching the door because he was wearing a ballistic vest.
“He’s a big teddy bear. He’s a big guy and he’s got a big heart,” said Fayette County Leitenant David Beyer.
“He was shot in the face [with a shotgun] and has lost his sight in one eye and they are trying to save the other eye,” the sheriff’s office said. A spokesperson added, “Please keep him in your prayers.”
The sheriff’s department says Lehman woke up Friday morning and was able to write three words to his family in the room. They said, “I’m a fighter.”
The sheriff’s office said anyone who would like to help Lehmann financially may make a contribution to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Memorial and Benevolent Society.
In the “For” section, please put “CJ”. All funds received for CJ will go directly to him to assist him financially. Donations for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Memorial and Benevolent Society may be sent to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, C/O FCSMBS, at 1646 N. Jefferson St, La Grange, TX 78945.
La Grange is located 60 miles southeast of Austin.