Man who shot himself during traffic stop dies
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

June 11, 2004 -- Steven Dwight Almond, who shot himself after being stopped by police shortly after midnight Wednesday, died at Parkland Hospital Thursday evening, police said.

"Almond's uncle told me they would be taking him off life support when I talked to him mid-afternoon yesterday," Sulphur Springs Police Investigator Monty Tipps said Friday morning. "He died after being taken off the life support system yesterday afternoon."

The 34-year-old Conway, Ark., man shot himself once in the head with a .25-cal. semi-automatic pistol after being stopped by officer Mitch Griggs just after midnight Wednesday.

A note found in the vehicle indicated Almond may have been suicidal for a while, according to Tipps. The investigator was slated to speak with the man's immediate family later today to try to get a better understanding of the man's mental health and conditions that may have contributed to the incident that resulted in Almond's death.

Cpl. Jason Ricketson clocked Almond driving 90 miles per hour on Interstate 30, but was unable to stop the vehicle due to wet conditions which prevented him for crossing the median to pursue the westbound vehicle. Griggs, patrolling near the South Broadway Street overpass, responded to Ricketson's request for assistance, stopping the vehicle after clocking it at 96 miles per hour.

Griggs had reached the trunk of the vehicle when heard a gunshot. He went back to his vehicle, but when officer Lonnie Taylor arrived, and both officers approached the vehicle. Taylor broke out the passenger's window after noticing the lone occupant slumped over in the driver's seat.

Taylor removed the .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol with a live round in the firing chamber, the spent shell casing on the car seat and a pellet pistol from the vehicle.

Almond was take to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, then later to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where he died Thursday.

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