Deputies have reason to believe the suspect set the house on fire but became trapped in the burning home.
ORANGE COUNTY, Texas — A suspect suspect of shooting a man then setting the victim’s home on fire is in custody after becoming trapped in the burning home.
Capt. Joey Jacobs told 12News it happened in the 2800 block of Highway 62 near Interstate 10 shortly before 4 pm A woman was returning home and her husband was out back when they spotted a stranger on their property.
That stranger was later identified as 39-year-old Eric Ray-Martin Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux then allegedly opened fire, shooting the man who owns the home, Jacobs said. Deputies responded after receiving a call about the shooting.
The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment, and deputies spoke with witnesses and the woman. Witness statements led deputies to assume the Thibodeaux was still somewhere on the property, because no one reported seeing him leave.
The woman and a small child were taken away from the scene so it could be secured.
While deputies were on scene, Thibodeaux fired from inside the home. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including a SWAT team, responded to get him out of the home.
At some point, flames could be seen coming from the home, and deputies sent in a robot to see if Thibodeaux was still alive. The smoke was too thick, so they could not see.
A deputy on scene spotted Thibodeaux from a window, where he was calling for help. He was taken out of the house and into custody.
Thibodeaux is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and arson and is currently being held in the Orange County on bonds totaling $750,000.
Fire crews arrived on scene to assist with the fire, and Capt. Jacobs said fire marshals are assisting with the investigation.
Deputies have reason to believe the suspect started the fire.
The homeowner who was shot is expected to be OK.
Highway 62 was closed for the investigation, but has since been reopened.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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