Police Officers Taser Gun-Wielding Man at Lufkin Walmart [VIDEO]
A big debt of gratitude is owed to Lufkin's Finest, as several Lufkin Police Officers helped avert a disastrous situation at the Walmart on Highway 59 South in Lufkin on Monday.
Here is the official release and report on the incident from the Lufkin Police Department. The surveillance video from the event is shown above.
"Officers arrested a Lufkin man Monday morning who pulled a gun on them while being stunned with a Taser after admitting to shoplifting at Walmart.
Officers arrived at the store at 10:50 a.m. to find Matthew Haak, 31, in the women’s clothing section, speaking to a loss prevention employee about shoplifted items he had just returned. He denied stealing anything, but then came clean and offered to give the money back. He initially seemed cooperative in following Cpl. Randy Brooks, Officer Ethan Edwards and the store employee to the front office. While rounding the jewelry counter, Edwards noticed Haak reaching into his pants pocket. Edwards ordered Haak to stop, but he refused.
After being pinned against the jewelry counter, Haak continued to struggle and reach deeper into his pocket, so Brooks drew his Taser and stung the man on the back of his arm without deploying the Taser’s prongs. Haak then broke free and turned to face Brooks, pulling a Talon .380 from his pocket. Brooks yelled “gun” and deployed his Taser prongs, striking Haak in the chest and stomach.
Haak fell backward to the ground, taking Edwards with him. When Haak reached for the gun’s slide and attempted to rack it, Edwards drew his weapon. Officer Jeremy Nettles, who had just arrived, got on top of Haak and pulled at his right arm in an attempt to free the weapon from Haak’s grip. The officers yelled at Haak to drop the gun, but he did not. After being stunned a second time, Haak dropped the pistol, but continued with to struggle. Following a third round from the Taser, Haak stopped fighting and allowed the officers to handcuff.
The officers then took Haak to CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Lufkin to have the Taser prongs removed before he was taken to jail on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and theft.
The officers estimated that there were roughly 50 people in the immediate area during the struggle, including two employees working behind the jewelry counter.
Assistant Police Chief David Thomas said he is thankful no one was injured during the incident.
“Thanks to the officers’ training and confidence in their skills, they were able to take the suspect into custody with no injuries to them or any witnesses,” Thomas said.
Haak does not have possess a handgun license.