Bowie Co. Sheriff’s Office honors couple that followed murder suspect who allegedly shot deputy
BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) - The Bowie County sheriff’s deputy shot in the face in early August is now at home recovering from his injuries. On Friday morning (Aug. 19), a Cass County couple was recognized for their part in locating the man responsible for that shooting.
“We want to recognize you today with certificates of my office,” said Bowie County Sheriff Jeff Neal.
On Friday, Sheriff Neal honored Johnny and Victoria Stevens for the couple’s heroic acts the night a deputy was shot while making a traffic stop on a murder suspect. The Stevens were traveling on Highway 59 and witnessed the shooting. They then began chasing the suspect’s vehicle while notifying law enforcement.
“You exposed yourself to great danger to assist this office in capturing an evil, violent, and dangerous man,” said the sheriff.
The Stevens shared with KSLA what happened that night.
“I seen the officer take two steps back and that is when he was shot and he didn’t have any backup. Our only initiative was not letting the guy get away,” they said.
The Stevens say they followed the suspect’s vehicle for about 10 miles before law enforcement took over the chase. At the time, they didn’t know the man they were following was wanted for murder, but they say that didn’t matter.
“I was scared, I was, but after seeing Detective Lillis shot, we had to find him or try to,” the couple said.
The sheriff says the Stevens’ actions were instrumental in helping multiple law enforcement agencies locate the man they say was responsible for the shooting of Lt. Scott Lillis.
“Good heart... the right thing to do,” the couple responded when asked why they followed the suspect’s car.
The Stevens say they didn’t know Lt. Lillis until a private meeting with him Friday.
Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.