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Burleson County standoff suspect tied to August armed robbery

The suspect has been tied to a recent robbery at a store near Lake Somerville.
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 11:48 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) - New information has been released detailing why sheriff’s deputies were serving a warrant to James Matalice Smith, that ultimately led to an 8-hour standoff and his death.

Deputies were serving a warrant that connected Smith to an armed robbery that happened Aug. 14 at a store off FM 60 at County Road 410, according to Burleson County Sheriff Gene Hermes.

Smith shot Chief Deputy John Pollock, who was trying to serve the warrants. Pollock was taken to St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan where he underwent surgery and was released on Friday.

“We had an aggravated robbery that took place in one of our stores out in the county. The Dollar General Store out off FM 60 and you know without getting into too much there was, with all the information gathered Mr. Smith, it was determined he was involved in this,” said Hermes. The sheriff said a clerk was assaulted in that robbery.

The sheriff and County Judge tell us Deputy Chief Pollock was in Commissioner’s Court Monday morning after being shot last week.

“I’ll tell you he’s excited to be alive but his recovery is going to be long term,” said Hermes.

“Definitely [a] round of applause for chief at that time so it’s great to see him doing well and great to see that he’s on the road to recovery,” said Burleson County Judge Keith Schroeder.

“You know a small, rural county like Burleson County, we’re not used to those events in this county. It is, it was a wake up call for us to know that this can happen, close to home,” said Schroder.

The Texas Rangers are continuing to investigate the shootings. Investigators haven’t been able to confirm if anyone else was in the home at the time Pollock was shot.

After shooting Pollock, Smith and law enforcement were involved in an 8-hour standoff.

DPS says around 3 a.m. the suspect came out of his home and law enforcement believed he was surrendering. As law enforcement attempted to take him into custody Smith fired a gun at a trooper, hitting him in the arm. DPS said law enforcement returned fire, shooting the suspect.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene and the trooper was taken to St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan.

Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Joshua Strawn was released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries, according to DPS. Strawn is based out of the Freeport Office and has 16 years of service.

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