By PAUL STONE
For the 11th straight year, the Anderson County district attorney’s office welcomed shooters from multiple local law enforcement agencies, all to honor victims of crime.
The event began in 2002 thanks to the combined efforts of Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe and Renee Taylor who then served as the DA’s victims’ crime coordinator.
“Our goal is to encourage friendly competition between agencies in a training setting where officers’ shooting skills can be compared with their peers,” Lowe said about the annual competition which was held Sept. 28. “We had a lot of fun, but we realize that when officers are confronted with someone shooting at them, that these are the skills that will save their lives.”
All shooters were required to demonstrate handgun skills with a non-dominant, “weak” hand to simulate real life shooting situations, according to Lowe.
Forty-eight shooters from East Texas area law enforcement agencies comprising 12 teams participated in this year’s Shootout.
The following agencies were represented in the competition: the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Smith County Sheriff’s Office; the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office; the Leon County Sheriff’s Office; the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office; the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole; the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education; the TDCJ’s Office of Inspector General; the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office; the Palestine Police Department; and two teams from the Anderson County district attorney’s office.
The “Top Gun” award went to Smith County sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Black who bested his fellow East Texas sharpshooters in the solo competition.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office finished in first place in the team competition, with the team consisting of Michael Goff, David Spraggins, Kenneth McClure and Dowell Baker.
Finishing second was the Palestine Police Department team consisting of David Kassaw, Joseph Tinsley, Matthew Kerr and Richard Johnson.
The Texas DPS team of Chris Harrison, Chris Baggett, Clay Steelman and Jamie Beene took third place honors in the team division.
Sponsors for this year’s event included the Palestine Regional Medical Center and the Palestine branch of Ben E. Keith. William George Company and Rump’s Barbeque provided food for the participants, while the Great American T-Shirt Company made the T-shirts.
Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org