As the second day of an intense search for two escapees from the Hopkins County jail was drawing to a close Wednesday, one of the escapees went to a residence on FM 3134 asking for food, according to Deputy Sgt. Brad Cummings.
“Yesterday, about 3 p.m., we understand that John Martin King was positively identified as entering a home of an acquaintance that he knew was home at the time,” Cummings said. “He was able to receive some food and something to drink.”
Officers had received information of a sport utility vehicle being stolen from a residence on West Houston Street about the same time they learned of King going to the rural residence.
“Yesterday, moments after it happened, our office was informed of a black Saturn that was stolen from an address on Houston Street,” Cummings said. “There were no witnesses as far as I am aware, but we are not going to rule out it wasn't them and we can't confirm that it was the two fugitives we are looking for.”
Meanwhile, the FM 3134 resident immediately contacted the sheriff's department after King left to report seeing him.
“He was positively identified getting into the passenger side of a black SUV with an unknown occupant,” the sergeant said. “Due to the fact that we are not sure the other occupant was [Brian Allen] Tucker, we are assuming that they still may be together. We can't confirm if they have or have not separated but there was an unknown second occupant in that vehicle.”
Additionally, there was a .22-caliber handgun in the vehicle. Whoever made off with the SUV probably has possession of the weapon as well.
A short time later, Hopkins County officers called Commerce Police for assistance after the escapees were possibly seen along FM 71 west.
“Officers with Commerce PD responded and assisted with the search,” said Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews. “During the search, it was learned that the suspects were in a stolen Saturn Vue.”
Chief Crews said the parking lot of the Commerce Wal-Mart was temporarily used as a staging and briefing area for officers involved in the search.
“At this point, either way, if it was not Brian Tucker and John King, we want the public to know there was a gun in the vehicle and it is also in the hands of the criminal that took it,” Cummings continued. “So, either way, we are dealing with someone with a weapon and we don't want anyone to get hurt, so if you see the vehicle, call 911.”
Sgt. Cummings said Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshals Service, and area law enforcement agencies are assisting the sheriff's department in the search.
The two men escaped from the county jail about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday and have changed out of their black-and-white inmate clothing.
Cummings suggested that if someone spots the stolen vehicle to get a good description and direction of travel but to not approach or get close to the suspects or the vehicle.
“If you happen to see the occupants of the vehicle, try to get a good description but do so from a distance and call 911,” he said.
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