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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Mark Wilson

Take a moment from your busy Fat Tuesday to remember the brave men who put their lives on the line in trying to stop David Arroyo from killing his son and wife. While many law enforcement officers made a good account of themselves that day (in particular Smith County Sheriff's Deputy Sherman Dollison, although there were many others), one man stands out because he was a civilian who just happened to be a sheepdog who moved to the sound of the guns:

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.
Mark Wilson proved that fateful day in Texas that he would not stand by and watch his fellow citizens be gunned down in broad daylight outside a courthouse. By engaging Arroyo he traded his life for that of Arroyo Jr who would have been finished off at point blank range if not for Mr. Wilson's actions (sadly Maribel Estrada was killed by her ex-husband's opening shots).

Read all six parts covering the day's events. Next time you think, "But something like that could never happen near me" remember, before 24 February 2005 no one had ever opened up with a rifle in front of the court house in Tyler, TX either.


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