hope not a dupe, searched All boards for "Arroyo" for past 3 days...
From his loft above Rage Salon and Don Juan on the Square, Mark Wilson, 52, has a bird's-eye view of the shootout between gunman David Arroyo and law officers in the street below.
Wilson, who has lived for about nine years in an apartment overlooking the Smith County Courthouse, is known to many who work or frequent the restaurants and nightspots in the heart of the city. A former firing-range owner and firearm instructor, he has taught people how to use a gun to protect themselves and others.
Armed with a Colt .45-caliber revolver, Wilson makes his way down to Spring Avenue and the east side of the square. Arroyo is firing his semiautomatic rifle at sheriff's deputies and others at the courthouse and apparently does not see Wilson move closer.
On the sidewalk in front of Levines Department Store, Wilson shoots at the gunman.
Arroyo slightly stumbles. A witness remembers seeing "white puffs of powder-like substance" come from Arroyo's clothing.
After taking his shot, Wilson crouches behind a Chevy truck parked in front of the store. The truck belongs to Arroyo.
When Arroyo walks to the driver side of the truck, Wilson, who is only a few feet away, pops up from the other side and fires.
Wilson does not know that Arroyo is wearing a bulletproof vest and other protective gear. Wilson's shots do not take down the gunman.
Instead, Arroyo "wheeled around to his left and fired at least one shot (at Wilson)," recalls witness John Allison, an acquaintance of Wilson. "Either Mark got hit at that moment or he stumbled back because he disappeared behind the truck out of my view (from Regions Bank building).
"The shooter immediately walked around the truck and I saw him aim his weapon to the ground (where Wilson lies) and shoot three times," continues Allison.
Wilson is shot in the head.
His friends would later say they doubted Wilson hesitated to take action when he realized there was a gunman on the loose.
"I imagine he saw it (shooting) and immediately acted," Wilson's neighbor Billy Boone tells the newspaper. "That was the kind of guy he was ... He looked out for everyone else's place. If something looked wrong or out of place, he'd check on it."
Witnesses to the shooting are stunned.
"I had to look away. I had to focus on something else," Brandon Malone, who was inside Don Juan restaurant, tells the newspaper. "It's not like seeing it on TV, where you know it's fake. Someone actually lost their life."
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," adds Nelson Clyde III, one of Malone's lunch companions. "It was sickening."
By now, more peace officers are on the scene.
Tyler Police Officer Mike Gray pulls up at Spring and Ferguson streets and takes cover behind his squad car.
Jerry Jordan runs out of the Courthouse Annex, located on the same corner, and joins Gray behind the car.
"I could see several people down on the (courthouse) porch and steps, either injured or trying to avoid the fire," recalls Jordan, an armed sheriff's deputy. "I could see door glass being shattered and impact strikes on the brick wall."
Gray screams into the police radio at his collar that shots are being fired. Using cars parked on the east side of the square as cover, Gray moves toward the gunman. He fires his Beretta 9 mm semiautomatic pistol four times.
Michael Mosley, a guard at the U.S. Attorney's Office, pulls up in his silver Chevrolet Caprice Classic on the south side of the block, at Spring and Erwin streets.
From behind his car, the uniformed guard draws his gun.
Contacted by the Tyler newspaper, Mosley is reluctant to talk about his experience at the shootout, but says he did not fire his weapon.
"I am not a hero," he says. "God watched over me and protected me that day."
After shooting Wilson, Arroyo backs his truck out of the space next to Wilson's body and heads north on Spring.
"He did it unhurriedly and drove off slow," recalls Rick Wilbanks, another lunch patron at Don Juan restaurant. "I could have kept up with him. I think he was expecting to be killed by the cops."
Arroyo sprays gunfire at the courthouse. Law officers come out firing.
From behind the wheel of his GMC Safari van facing north on Spring at Erwin, Ron Martell, a Tyler businessman, sees the gunfight between Arroyo and Wilson.
When Arroyo backs out, Martell pulls behind.
"I didn't see anyone following him (Arroyo) so I got behind him and I followed him. I saw him kill a man and thought I would help these officers in any way I could," the U.S. Air Force and Vietnam veteran tells police.
Martell, a concealed handgun license holder, makes sure his gun is in easy reach.
When Tyler Police Officer Hal Schlattner gets out of his squad car at Spring and Ferguson, someone is yelling, "There he goes!"
Arroyo passes through the intersection in his truck going north.
From his van following Arroyo, Martell screams to Schlattner and Officer Jason Seeton, who is also nearby, that the shooter is in the truck.
Seeton and Schlattner get in their cars and pursue.
Officer Wayne Allen and Police Sgt. Rusty Jacks are at Ferguson and Broadway Avenue. Armed with a Colt Commando assault rifle, Jacks climbs on the hood of Allen's squad car and prepares to shoot. When Arroyo passes one block east, Jacks jumps into the car with Allen and they join the chase.
Officers Bill Horton and Brad Langford are on a call at the Smith County Health Department, eight blocks north of the courthouse, when they hear the dispatch about a gunman.
Langford heads south on Broadway and then, getting word that Arroyo is moving north, joins the chase.
Horton grabs an AR-15 rifle from the trunk and approaches the courthouse going south on Spring. He is on a head-on collision course with Arroyo.
You do realize that this happened a year ago?
This is the 1 year anniversary.
RIP Mark Wilson
RIP I hope Arroy burns in hell being raped by demons!