KPD: Shooters weren't aiming for Martin facility

'Reckless' gunplay Aug. 24 could net felonies

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The gunfire that struck the Martin Companies’ headquarters and nearby vehicles last week apparently wasn’t intentional, but the “reckless” shooting on the edge of the city limits could carry stiff penalties for the individuals involved.

Investigators at Kilgore Police Department have connected three adults to the incident and more may be involved. They’re not being identified, yet, as the investigation continues.

The gunplay sent employees at Martin Resource Management and Frontier Communications scurrying for cover Thursday afternoon, led local law enforcement to lock-down a stretch of Stone Road and, ultimately, led to evacuations at both companies as officers from multiple agencies secured the scene for hours.

According to KPD Assistant Chief Roman Roberson, there were multiple individuals (split into two groups) shooting firearms that afternoon in the area of 4200 Stone Road, apparently without regard for their surroundings.

“No one was actually actively, intentionally shooting at Martin Gas,” Roberson said. “It was just a by-product of their reckless behavior.”

No one was injured, but between handguns and a shotgun at least one bullet hit the Martin facility and slugs struck multiple vehicles.

“We don’t really know yet, for sure, how many were discharging firearms in this area,” Robertson noted. “We know for certain there were two in one area.

“We have identified three individuals that are involved. They’re cooperating with the investigation. The detectives still need to do some interviews. We’re still trying to identify everyone involved definitively.”

Discharging a firearm in the city limits is a Class C misdemeanor. The bullet-strikes to a building and vehicles enhance potential charges to Deadly Conduct, a state jail felony.

“This is why gun safety is so important,” Roberson said. “First off, don’t be discharging firearms within the city limits to begin with.”

A portion of the incident may have taken place outside the city limits, he noted. Either way, the consequences for the individuals remain to be seen.

“We’ll know more shortly. We’ve got detectives working on it and they’re making progress on it.”