Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Man dies in shoot-out
Houston County Courier - November 2009
HOUSTON COUNTY – A fugitive and former TDCJ corrections officer, whose family owned property in Houston County, was killed in a shoot-out with police in Pasadena about 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22
William Neal Terral, 53, was wanted in Houston County on eight felony warrants; three for aggravated sexual assault of a child, two
for sexual performance of a child, and three for indecency with a child/sexual contact.
Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt said his office began investigating Terral in April after receiving case information from the Pasadena Police Department that showed Terral had committed sexual assaults in Houston County during a time frame of February 2008 until July 2008.
There were three victims in this case ranging in age from 9 to 11. Reports on America’s Most Wanted website indicated the victims were his granddaughters.
According to news reports, the shoot-out took place in a Dunkin Donuts in the 600 block of Southmore Avenue in Pasadena after U.S. Marshals reported that a wanted man was inside the business.
Two Pasadena Police Department officers responded to the call. One officer stopped to question a customer who was leaving the business and the other, 25-year-old Joshua Ridings entered and was shot twice by Terral as he attempted to serve the federal warrant.
As of press time on Tuesday, authorities were still trying to determine whether Terral’s died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if Ridings fatally wounded him.
News reports said that Terral fired his weapon first and Ridings, who joined Pasadena Police Department in June 2008, returned fire before running outside the restaurant where he collapsed.
The America’s Most Wanted website also indicated that the children’s mother had been abused by Terral when she was 12 but that charges were never filed in the case.
Because of the nature of the case, the U.S. Marshal’s Office and Department of Homeland Security became involved in trying to locate Terral, who was fleeing from law enforcement officials and crossing state lines.
Sheriff Bobbitt stated that even though this ordeal ended in tragedy, it will give the family closure.
He stated that he was appreciative of all the help from the difference law enforcement agencies, State and Federal, who worked on this case.