The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Tuesday morning outside Mart after he allegedly fired rifle rounds at utility workers who were repairing a water line, Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

A concerned Mart resident called McLennan County authorities at about 8 a.m. Tuesday when a homeowner, later identified as Sheldon Gridley, 54, of Mart, confronted the crews who were working at the back of Gridley's property in the 800 block of Lakeland Park Circle.

McNamara said after Gridley started yelling at the uniformed workers to leave his property, two workers approached the home to speak with the man.

"The homeowner ordered them off the property and they came up to the house so they could understand what he was saying, but at that point, we believe he threatened to kill them if they didn't get off his property," McNamara said. "At that point, there was still one worker down in the pasture and the other two fled. (Gridley) then proceeded to fire a weapon, but we aren't sure in exactly what direction, but we do know he did fire a weapon several times."

Mart City Manager Kevin Schaffer said the workers were doing emergency repairs to the main water transmission line that serves the city of Mart. He said one city worker arrived at the property early and was onsite when Gridley stopped and confronted two other workers who were arriving.

Schaffer said the workers turned to talk with Gridley, who started threatening them. Schaffer said the workers had the right to be on the site because they were doing emergency repairs within the utility easement, which extends 20 feet on either side of the line.

McNamara said that shortly after the two workers left the property, Gridley fired shots in an unknown direction. Meanwhile, the third worker, who had been on the property from the beginning, hid behind an embankment.

Authorities spoke with Gridley at his home and discovered five shell casings. They retrieved a .22-caliber rifle from his possession.

Gridley was arrested and charged with three Class A misdemeanor charges of terroristic threat and Class A misdemeanor charge of deadly conduct. Gridley remained jailed Tuesday with a bond listed at $5,000.

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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