Man Dies in Officer-Involved Shooting in Martin County

Photo of Lonnie Martin from Martin County Sheriff's Office
Photo of Lonnie Martin from Martin County Sheriff's Office

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY - A Martin County man, who appeared ready for a violent confrontation with authorities, is dead after being shot by officers during a short chase.

54-year-old Lonnie Martin was shot and killed Saturday afternoon by Martin County deputies after he refused to stop when deputies tried to pull him over.

Martin was being watched by law enforcement over the past week after he refused to vacate the home he was staying in. The home is owned by his family who had wanted him to leave peacefully. Martin had told family members he would not leave the home alive. Authorities say he had been stocking up on ammunition and guns for the last week or so.

Around 2:30 Saturday afternoon Martin left the home. That is when deputies tried to pull him over after a traffic violation. The Martin County Sheriff says deputies fired on the car after he refused to pull over and started to near a residential area. Martin then drove the car into a gas main off Highway 176 northwest of Stanton. Authorities said they were still investigating if Martin had returned fire, but they say he was armed.

Martin County Sheriff John Woodward says deputies found suicide notes in Martin's home. They also found a suit that he wanted to be buried in. Martin had also placed guns around the home and had placed items near doorways that would have injured officers as they entered.

Martin's body has been sent to Odessa for an autopsy. The Texas Rangers are now investigating.

No officers were injured in the incident.

Highway 176 was reopened around 10:15p.m. Saturday night.