Thursday, October 28, 2010
kill man in shootout
Gunfire follows search for missing son of former governor south of Athens
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENSA body found in a shallow grave on the property of his survivalist neighbor south of Athens has been positively identified as the son of former Texas Governor Bill Clements. Texas Rangers are looking into the shootout that threatened the lives of Henderson County Sheriffs deputies and ended the life of 46-year-old Howard Todd Granger, neighbor to the missing man, Ben Gill Clements.
A memorial service is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday at St. Michael and All Angels Epsicopal Church in Dallas, birthplace of B. Gill Clements.
A missing persons report prompted a search 11:30 p.m. Thursday, continuing through the wee hours Friday on Clements property located on County Road 4610, near Brown Road and State Highway 19, in the Koon Creek area.
Some officers were mounted on horses and dogs were used to help locate Clements through the night. The shallow grave was uncovered Saturday morning with a few items of clothing and wallet found nearby. The body was sent to forensics and was positively identified Monday, according to news reports.
The search escalated into a shootout Friday around noon when Granger initiated gunfire, to warn law enforcement away from his property.
He threatened us with an AK-47 for being on his property, and we were not on his property, Sheriff Ray Nutt told a reporter from the Athens Daily Review.
Law enforcement responded with a warrant for his arrest and a search warrant issued by Justice of the Peace Milton Adams.
But when they tried to serve the warrants, Granger fired at them with the AK-47.
Nutt had already called in an armored vehicle from the Tyler Police Department. The vehicle is available to law enforcement in five neigboring counties under a Homeland Security grant.
The standoff was concluded with officers inside the armored vehicle advancing on Granger, who sprayed it with more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
A single bullet from a well-placed sniper killed Granger where he stood.
We returned fire. Mr. Granger is now deceased, Nutt told the Athens Daily Review.
Described as a loner and a survivalist, Granger had once worked as a delivery driver for an auto shop in Athens 10 years ago. Neighbors didnt know how he supported himself since then.
Other residents told a Dallas Morning News reporter that they had seen Granger on his property with an AK-47 or had heard automatic gunfire from his direction late at night.
The same neighbors knew very little about Gill Clements, who worked as president of Southeastern Drilling Co., also known as Sedco, founded by his father in 1947 until its sale to Schlumberger Ltd. for $1 billion in 1984. (See page 11A for Clements obituary.)
Neighbors said he visited his Henderson County ranch often and in recent years had been buying land to extend his property.
A search of Grangers property tuned up a cache of weapons, some semi-automatic, and a generous supply of ammunition, Nutt said.
Grangers body was sent to Dallas for autopsy. Nutt said his wife was at the scene during the police action.
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