SJC Sheriff: Suicidal man shot by deputies after he fired weapon at them


A 40-year-old Shepherd man, John Tapp, was killed Sunday night, May 22, in an officer-involved shooting in Shepherd, according to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers.

According to Capers, the shooting came at the end of a day of escalating suicidal behavior by Tapp that included him attempting to crash his vehicle into oncoming traffic at the railroad crossing at SH 150 in Shepherd and attempting to crash his vehicle into a pine tree, the latter of which reportedly was averted by Tapp’s passenger.

“This man had been driving around all day while taking pills. One of his relatives told us that he had witnessed him downing 20 pills at one time,” Capers said.

Around 7 p.m. Sunday, San Jacinto County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a disturbance in the Shepherd area. En route to the disturbance, deputies reportedly saw Tapp driving his vehicle at a high rate of speed on US 59 South when he suddenly slowed his vehicle and exited at SH 150. Deputies caught up to Tapp at a residence at Hickory Creek at FM 2666 where Tapp’s wife was visiting.

“He was threatening to kill his wife,” Capers said. “The man had threatened suicide by cop and pointed his gun to his own head before firing at one of my deputies. Another deputy returned fire, striking him.”

Medics with Allegiance Ambulance attempted life-saving measures while transporting Tapp to CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Hospital in Livingston where he was pronounced deceased at 8:22 p.m.

Capers said Tapp had a history of violent behavior, which prompted to him being listed as “armed and dangerous” in the the department’s internal notifications.

As the shooting involved a sheriff’s deputy, the investigation will be handled entirely by the Texas Rangers.

The entire shift of deputies, including the deputy who fired his weapon, will be placed on administrative leave for an undisclosed amount of time while the investigation is conducted by the Texas Rangers. Sheriff Capers, his command staff and others will be covering the shift in the meantime.


  1. Mental illness is a terrible thing, the cost now of John’s life, the scars on his family and the deputy who had to defend himself. John is a a good man, we all have our demon’s and his took control of him. My prayers for his family and the deputy.

    • Gordon, was he mentally ill or an addict? The vast vast majority of the mentally never hurt anyone or shoot at cops. It is wrong to confuse the mentally ill with drug addicts who choose their life.

      • Ask any psychologist. Vast majority if addicts are not just randomly choosing to ruin their lives and those of their families. If you truly believe that, then what a truly jaded life you live.

      • You Mother F’ers John was not an addict he did take a bottle of ambian Once in an attempt of suicide but was not taking pills all day and he sure as hell didn’t suffer from mental illness! O and he wasn’t going to kill his wife, he was going to kill himself in front of his wife, BIG difference and just for the record he wasn’t a violent man but was a crack shot with his pistol and if he was trying to kill cops believe me they wouldn’t be breathing right now !! In fact he was screaming at them to shoot him so get your facts straight before you start slandering someone’s name

  2. John was a so worker – although I didn’t know him well it is sad that – i find it sad that people don’t think they have anyone to turn to for support when it is most needed. We should heed this an make it cleat to those close to us that we are a haven

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