Crime update

Search for suspect continues after shooting of Bastrop County deputy

Search for suspect continues after shooting of Bastrop County deputy

Michael Stark
Authorities are still searching for Michael Stark, who they say shot a deputy three times overnight. Bastrop County Sheriff's Office via KVUE

KVUE — A Bastrop County deputy is in the hospital in stable condition after he was shot three times late Sunday night, March 13.

Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook said Deputy Sawyer Wilson was shot twice in his bulletproof vest and once in his forearm. His forearm bone is shattered, but Cook said Wilson’s vest likely saved his life.

As of 6:15 am, the suspect, 33-year-old Michael Stark, is not in custody. The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office said Stark has been arrested by the agency 25 times in the past. The BCSO released photos of the suspect, but said the public should not approach Stark because he is believed to be armed and dangerous.

The BCSO said it received a call to a residence Sunday night about a criminal mischief issue. Deputy Wilson responded to the scene. While he was there, he received a description of the vehicle involved: a blue pickup with a mattress in the back.

Just after 10:30 pm, Wilson pulled behind a pickup matching the description at the Lba Market on Lba Drive, off SH 95. According to BCSO, the driver, Stark, was wanted on a parole violation for a burglary in Bastrop County.

Wilson called for backup. The BCSO said Stark would not get out of the vehicle and fired a weapon at least three times from the driver’s seat, striking Wilson three times. Wilson returned fire, but the BCSO said it is unclear at this time whether Stark is injured.

After firing at Wilson, Stark then exited the pickup on the passenger side and ran out behind the store. Wilson pursued Stark into the darkness but lost him.

Wilson returned to the scene to receive medical attention and was taken to an Austin-area hospital by ambulance.

The BCSO said there is still an active search for Stark, and deputies are hoping daylight will help them find him. The area near the store has been checked closely using drones, and the Texas Department of Public Safety and an Austin Police Department helicopter have assisted with the search.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting, as well. This is protocol when deputies are involved in shootings.

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