Deputy Critically Injured in Dragging; Suspect Dead

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COLDSPRING, Texas — An East Texas deputy was injured Wednesday when he was struck and dragged more than 50 feet by a sport-utility vehicle driving in reverse, investigators said.

San Jacinto County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Barnes was in good condition at Memorial Herrman Hospital.

The suspected driver was found dead less than a mile from the dragging scene still in the SUV, but no details on how he died were released, said Sheriff's Lt. Carl Jones.

The incident began when Barnes, driving with a passenger who was participating in a ride-along, spotted the SUV being driven in the pre-dawn hours with lights off, according to sheriff's reports

Barnes stopped the SUV and ordered the driver out when an argument began. The witness says the driver went back to the SUV, got a gun and began shooting.

When Barnes took cover behind the SUV, the driver put it into reverse and dragged Barnes about 50 feet.

The passenger, a former sheriff's office employee, got a shotgun from the patrol car and fired at the fleeing SUV.