CORRECTIONS ON STORY... We've been informed that Eugene Smith never did enter the convenience store at the Onalaska Valero yesterday. He didn't shoot any vehicles, and never fired a shot until police arrived and he began shooting at the police, at which point the police returned fire taking Smith down.
Note: Inaccuracies in stories (espcially shootings) are common as reporters try to get the story out to readers as fast and accurate as possible. However, inevitably, inaccuracies will happen. At PolkCountyToday.com, we understand this and get the corrections out as soon as possible.
Below is how the story was originally reported with corrections noted...
Gunman Shot By Police in Onalaska... ONALASKA, March 17, 2015 - At approximately 12:30 pm on March 17, 2015, Polk County Sheriff's Office Dispatchers dispatched Officers with Onalaska PD to Valero (off 190 W. in Onalaska). Dispatchers stated that there was a man with a shotgun on the premises. According to a witness, the gunman entered the store with a pump action shot gun and fired several shots in the store. <gunman never entered premises and never fired a shot> Officers with Onalaska PD arrived. The gunman (now in the parking lot) fired at the police who returned fire and shot the gunman. Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Police Chief, Ron Gilbert, Sheriff Hammack, DA investigators (and District Attorney Lee Hon), and a Texas Ranger were dispatched to the scene. The gunman was rushed to CHI Livingston Memorial Hospital by Americare Ambulance Service. The gunman died at the emergency room a short time later. One Officer with Onalaska PD took several bbs from the shotgun but was walking around and doing fine.
Eugene Smith, of Onalaska, was a prison guard with TDCJ.
Onalaska Valero Shooter Identified, ONALASKA, March 17, 2015 - The shooter who was touting a 12 gauge shotgun (reportedly loaded with buck shot) has been identified as Eugene Smith of Onalaska. Smith was a prison guard with TDCJ and had reportedly purchased the shotgun at Walmart the day before he was shot by Onalaska Police. Smith also reportedly shot several vehicles in the parking lot of the Valero before police arrived <correction, smith never fired any shots at vehicles and didn't shoot at all until police arrived and he began shooting at police>. There were allegedly three police officers who arrived. When the officers got out of their vehicles, Smith shot at the officers. All three officers returned fire and Smith was dropped in the parking lot. The officers radioed for an ambulance. Smith was rushed by ambulance to CHI Livingston Memorial Hospital where he died a short time later. Meanwhile, the scene of the shooting was taped off with crime tape as Onalaska Police Chief, Ron Gilbert, Mayor Roy Newport, Sheriff Hammack, Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Trooper Allen Stanton, DA Investigators, and Texas Ranger, Ryan Clennenden began an investigation. One of the officers, Captain John Maddox sustained minor injuries from shot that ricocheted off of one of the police cars. Smith's Silver Ford Taurus was still parked at the gas pumps. His vehicle was recovered by Ken's Towing and was stored at the Polk County Sheriff's Office impound lot for further investigation. Smith was transported from the hospital by a first call car from Cochran Funeral Home. The shooting remains under investigation by our local Texas Ranger.
WARNING: One image below shows blood in the parking lot. If this offends you in any way, DO NOT scroll down this page.
Onalaska Police Chief, Ron Gilbert (left) stands with Officer Tammie Heeth. Heeth was one of 3 officers who initially arrived on the scene.
(L - R) Polk County Sheriff, Ken Hammack, Investigator, Christian Schanmier, Lieutenant Andy Lowrie.
Smith's 12 gauge pump action shotgun sits where it fell after Smith was shot.
Sheriff Hammack looks at minor wounds on Onalaska Police Captain, John Maddox.
Eugene Smith was rushed by ambulance to CHI Livingston Memorial Hospital where he passed away a short time later.
Sheriff Hammack peers into the car that was driven by Smith.
Polk County Criminal District Attorney, Lee Hon observes the crime scene from outside the crime tape.
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