Woodville, Texas Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop, Suspect Fatally Shot by Multiple Officers

Woodville, Texas Police Officer Shot During Traffic Stop, Suspect Fatally Shot by Multiple Officers
Officer Costello

A Woodville, Texas police officer is currently fighting for his life after being shot in the face during a traffic stop. The incident occurred on Sunday morning, September 17, 2023, when Officer Troy Costello, a dedicated law enforcement professional with nearly five years of service, responded to a call for a suspicious male subject causing a disturbance in the 200 block of Shivers Drive.

Officer Costello attempted to make contact with the driver of a white pickup truck associated with the disturbance. However, the driver ignored his verbal commands and continued to drive away. Costello pursued the suspect’s vehicle for several blocks, eventually requesting assistance from fellow officers.

In an attempt to stop the suspect’s vehicle, Costello blocked it into a private driveway on South Pecan Street. The suspect, identified as Reginal Owens, 41, of Hemphill, Texas, then reversed the vehicle down South Pecan Street, finally stopping at the intersection of Pecan Street and Cardinal Drive.

As Officer Costello approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, Owens shot him in the face before fleeing the scene in the vehicle. The wounded officer was immediately transported to a hospital in Houston via air ambulance, where he is undergoing surgery. He is currently reported to be in stable condition.

After Owens left the scene, Tyler County Deputies and Woodville PD Officers initiated a search for the suspect. Owens was eventually located in a wooded area south of Shivers Drive with a handgun in his waistband. Despite numerous commands from law enforcement officers to stop and lay down with his arms extended, Owens remained noncompliant and hostile. He made an aggressive movement toward the handgun in his waistband, leading multiple officers to fire upon him.

Reginal Owens was pronounced dead at the scene, and Justice of Peace Precinct 1, Tina Self, has ordered an autopsy. The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into both the shooting of Officer Costello and the subsequent shooting of Reginal Owens.

Woodville Police Chief Michael McCulley issued a statement regarding the incident, urging the public to keep Officer Costello and his family in their prayers. Officer Costello had previously served with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Woodville Police Department.

The Texas Municipal Police Association is currently on the scene, providing assistance and support to Officer Costello’s family during this challenging time.