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.