By Geena Martinez
MARTIN COUNTY - Martin County Sheriff John Woodward confronted a gunman over the weekend after that man came with a gun to an oil rig.
Quick thinking stopped him before anyone got hurt but the sheriff said crime like this is becoming more common.
It all started early Sunday morning.
"The initial call was that this subject was firing at an individual or individuals in Andrews County," Woodward said.
Woodward said the subject was 31-year-old Luis Hernandez. He was apparently upset with someone on a rig in Andrews so Hernandez left his rig in Martin County to confront them.
Hernandez allegedly fired shots and came back to the Martin County rig.
"We did know that he had the high capacity 40 caliber handgun, he had extra magazines and he did have additional boxed ammunition," Woodward said.
The gun and ammo were stolen and deputies feared they had a possible active shooter on their hands.
"The one thing that was an immediate concern was the safety of all of the coworkers and individuals on the rig," Woodward said.
Woodward and a deputy made their way to the rig.
A few moments later, Woodward confronted Hernandez who was pointing a gun at him. Woodward was able to take Hernandez down after firing a warning shot.
"He did appear to be intoxicated, he had difficulty standing," Woodward said. "We were very, very fortunate to be able to apprehend this subject and disarm him without having to use that lethal force."
We're told cases involving armed suspects are happening more often in Martin County. In fact, crime in general is going up.
In 2009, the sheriff's office handled 70 criminal cases and a couple hundred service calls, but fast forward a few years and that number has more than tripled to 240 cases.
"We're really trying to beef up not only soft body armor but heavy body armor for patrol," Woodward said.
The sheriff's office is also using more advanced training for these situations. Woodward said in the meantime, he's just happy this didn't end differently.
Hernandez is facing charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer along with a few other charges.