The typically quiet neighborhood of Sherry Lane, just off of North 155, in Palestine was awash Friday with flashing squad car lights. Palestine Police were responding to a burglary attempt and shots fired.
Just after 3 p.m., homeowner Fortino Espinoza, driving by his rental property at 204 Sherry Lane, noticed something odd: a white Chevrolet Malibu was parked in the driveway. Plus, a man was inside the Ford Explorer he kept at his property.
Armed with a .40 caliber handgun, Espinoza approached the man, later identified as 37-year-old Shelton Todd Redd of Palestine.
Police reported Espinoza fired one shot into the ground. Redd then approached Espinoza, who again fired a warning shot into the ground.
After the second shot, Redd assaulted Espinoza. PPD officers arrived moments later and arrested Redd.
During a routine search, police discovered small items belonging to Espinoza on Redd, as well as several of Espinoza's belongings on the ground near the Explorer.
PPD Captain Mark Harcrow told the Herald-Press Friday that, due to the assault, the charge against Redd stiffened from burglary of a vehicle – a state jail felony – to robbery, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Although it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits, Harcrow said Espinoza was not now under arrest.
“As a firearm was discharged, we will investigate it like any other shooting before we make a final determination,” he said.
All suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty.