Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Royce City, TX: Suspect in chase, shooting may have planned domestic violence in Greenville

By Brad Keller
Herald-Banner Staff

ROYSE CITY — By Brad Kellar

Herald-Banner Staff

Among other details, investigators have been attempting to determine why a Dallas man lead law enforcement officers on a chase through Greenville Saturday afternoon before ramming his pickup truck into another vehicle.

Edward Markeist Wheaton was shot and killed by officers following the pursuit.

Wheaton’s estranged wife, who works in Greenville, believes she knows why he came to town. It may have been to kill her.

“He was here for a reason,” said LaSharon Taylor Wheaton. “I’m the reason why he was here, more than likely.”

LaSharon works at the Schlotzsky’s Deli at Crossroads Mall, 6834 Wesley Street in Greenville, which was where Wheaton was initially cornered by units from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Greenville Police Department.

Joe Mabry is the manager of the restaurant and has no doubt it was where Wheaton was headed Saturday.

“That was my first thought,” Mabry said. “What are the odds he would end up in my parking lot?”

Mabry contacted the Herald-Banner Monday, in response to reports Wheaton was the victim of an unprovoked police shooting.

“The whole story needs to be out there,” Mabry said.

Wheaton, 39, died at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash near the intersection of Wesley and Stanford Streets.

Officers from three law enforcement agencies were reported to have fired on the 1979 Chevrolet Silverado which Wheaton was driving. Witnesses told the Herald-Banner they heard approximately two dozen shots fired at the scene of the crash.

The investigation underway by the Texas Rangers had determined White was not armed at the time of the shooting, and that “multiple rounds” had been fired.

According to accounts of the incident, Trooper Alex Hunt with the DPS office in Greenville was notified at 1:17 p.m. Saturday of a reckless driver on Interstate 30. Hunt observed the Silverado westbound on the highway and attempted to make a traffic stop. Wheaton did not stop and was followed into the parking lot at Crossroads Mall, where he rammed Hunt’s vehicle, then turned northbound on Wesley Street.

The Silverado struck the back of a Hyundai Sonata just south of the intersection with Stanford Street. Law enforcement officers surrounded the vehicle, at which time Wheaton was said to have backed into a DPS vehicle behind him and then drove into the back of the Hyundai a second time.

The driver of the Hyundai was not injured and was escorted to safety by officers.

Wheaton died at the scene.

Mabry said he was familiar with Wheaton, based on the outcome of the violent incidents with his estranged wife.

“He just really mistreated her,” Mabry said, adding he watched as Wheaton’s pickup stopped just outside of the Schlotzsky’s and was met by DPS and Greenville Police vehicles.

“They had him kind of hemmed in from all directions,” Mabry said.

“We just separated like six months ago,” LaSharon said, adding she had not talked to Wheaton for about a month, but explaining he often would call and threaten her.

Wheaton had not contacted her Saturday, but had been contacting her relatives Friday night and was asking where she could be found.

“I’m hurting right now,” LaSharon said. “I didn’t know it was him until the next morning. I’m really shocked about what happened.”

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