Shooting details released
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
When Bandera County Sheriff's Office Deputy JJ Martinez responded to a complaint about a criminal trespass on Tuesday, August 13, he did not anticipate how a seemingly routine call would unfold.
Hours later, when the smoke cleared literally, a county resident had been charged with felony attempted capital murder of a peace officer and four deputies had sustained minor injuries.
According to a press release issued by the BCSO on Thursday, August 15, Martinez was dispatched to a residence on the 6000 block of Bump Gate Road in Pipe Creek to speak to a caller about a reported criminal trespass. After arriving at the scene, Martinez attempted to make contact with the caller, 61-year-old John M. Donohue. As the investigation proceeded, however, Donohue attempted to run over the deputy in his vehicle before fleeing the scene. After calling for backup, Martinez pursued Donohue to the back of the property, an area that was described as "steep and rough."
Law enforcement officers who served as backup for Martinez included BCSO Sgt. Gerald "Jerry" Johnson, Capt. Shane Merritt, Cpl. DJ Nowlin and Deputies Luis Moreno and Chris Ahumada. Later. According to reports, deputies were apparently unable to broach the terrain in their patrol vehicles so they contacted Precinct 4 Constable Rod Chalmers who arrived with his four-wheel drive vehicle.
After proceeding up a steep hill, the officers located Donohue in his 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 pickup at the end of the road.
While approaching the suspect on foot, the officers attempted to speak with him. In response, according to the press release, Donohue accelerated in the direction of the deputies, apparently attempting to run them over. To forestall serious injuries, deputies scattered and took cover as necessary in a ditch, behind a cedar tree and just rolling away from the path of the oncoming truck. "Deputies said the suspect was definitely trying to run them down," said BCSO Chief Deputy Matt King.
After recovering, deputies immediately opened fire, shooting multiple rounds, one of which struck Donohue in the left hip. AirLife transported the injured suspect to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he remains. His medical condition is unknown at this time, but it is not believed to be life threatening.
EMS personnel transported several deputies to Boerne Methodist where they were treated for minor injuries and released. All remain on administrative leave pending findings of the investigation.
According to reports, this was not Donohue's first brush with the law. King said deputies had been called to his address several times in the past. Although it could not be confirmed, Donohue had reportedly made numerous 9-1-1 calls to emergency dispatch for days leading up to the shooting incident. There was also a report that a caseworker with Adult Protective Services had visited with him earlier last week.
In addition, BCSO administrators are in possession of a rambling manifesto dated Sunday, August 11, and allegedly written by Donohue. The letter includes a litany of ostensible wrongs done to the writer by law enforcement officers in Bandera, Bexar and Kendall counties. It also indicates: "I am planning five suits in three different counties."
Additionally, Donohue was arrested in Boerne on Friday, August 9, for public intoxication at a motel. At the time of his booking in the Kendall County Jail, Donohue gave his address as being in San Antonio. He has a hearing scheduled in September in Kendall County related to the public intoxication charge.
Meanwhile, the shooting incident in Bandera County remains under investigation by the Texas Rangers, headed up by Ranger Joel Kite.
Pictured: Kendall County Sheriff's Office mugshot of John M. Donohue, who is accused of felony attempted capital murder of a Bandera County peace officer.