A McLennan County Sheriff’s Office sniper shot an armed man during a brief standoff Tuesday afternoon at a rural home near Leroy, Chief Deputy David Kilcrease said.

Authorities were called shortly before 11:30 a.m. to a home near Gerald Lane and Leroy Parkway.

“Apparently this individual’s children were just removed from the home by CPS (Child Protective Services) and he was distraught over that,” Kilcrease said. “He owned weapons, and a couple of rounds had been fired off before our arrival.”

Two people were initially in the home on Gerald Lane, Kilcrease said. Both were able to get outside and hide behind a shed in the backyard, and officers were able to get them to a nearby church for safety, he said.

The man was identified as Robert Smith, 43. He reportedly barricaded himself in the home and had weapons on him during the standoff.

“Trying to disarm the suspect, we used bean bags as a less lethal (option) to try to bring him into control,” Kilcrease said. “When officers fired bean bags, he reached into his waistband to pull out a revolver. At that time, he was shot by one of the snipers.”

Smith was shot in the side by the deputy and was taken from the scene by ambulance. Kilcrease said two officers rode with Smith in the ambulance because he continued to fight with emergency responders.

The two people initially in the home with Smith were not injured, Kilcrease said.

Per standard protocol, the officer involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave. Texas Rangers arrived on scene to investigate the shooting, Kilcrease said.

“I would say we were probably a hair’s breadth away from being able to do this without using lethal force,” Kilcrease said. “We hoped bean bags were going to be enough to bring this to a conclusion. Unfortunately it wasn’t.”

Smith has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, a third-degree felony, Kilcrease said. He will be taken into custody after he receives medical treatment, and officials said other charges are likely.

Kilcrease said Tuesday night that Smith is likely to survive his injuries but is in critical condition.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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