Gunman incident ends peacefully at local C-store

Apparently distraught about a grand jury indictment that occurred the day before, Rex Allen Stidham, 20, of Brady, made legal matters considerably worse in the early morning hours Tuesday. When the events were all said and done, Stidham was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated robbery. The event began at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, when 911 operators received a call stating that a man was in the vicinity of Dairy Queen and was threatening suicide. The caller reported that they had also heard gunshots outside the building. Brady police officers Lupe Carrizales and Jason Corbell responded to the area and began searching for the suspect. A short time later, Stidham walked into the new Town and Country convenience store on South Bridge Street. He attempted to purchase a 12-pack of beer, but when the clerk refused due to Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission regulations, Stidham allegedly put his hand on the gun that was in his pocket and told the clerk he needed to come outside with him. Quick thinking by the clerk prompted him to tell Stidham that he needed to get his fellow store employee from the back room to come outside. This gave the clerks the opportunity to escape when Stidham came around the counter to look for them. “The clerks there were able to sneak around to the side door that is located inside the building and run out the main door at the front before Stidham could get to them,” said Brady Police Chief Tommy Payne. As the clerks ran for shelter at the nearby motel, Stidham reportedly fired at least one shot from a stolen .45 automatic pistol in their direction. Officers later recovered one spent shell casing from the parking lot. Stidham then went back in the store and began making calls to 911 with a list of demands. Police officers were on the scene within moments of an initial 911 call made by a cell phone from one of the clerks as they fled the premises. Stidham threatened the officers with suicide by pointing the gun at himself. Telephone contact was eventually established with Stidham and he was convinced to engage in face- to-face conversation with Sergeant Corbell. Corbell was able to convince Stidham to leave the gun on the counter and after several minutes of dialogue, the two were conversing nearly face-to- face at the front of the store. When the opportunity presented itself, Corbell tackled Stidham and took him into custody. “When we got him on the phone and began the dialogue with him, he had lifted his shirt and show us that he didn’t have any more weapons on his person,” said Payne. “We also knew a lot about him and how he was acting having dealt with him a few months ago on a bogus call where he led us on wild goose chase.” That false report was the charge for which he was indicted in district court on Monday. The charges filed on him Tuesday are three counts of first degree felonies which each carry the possibility of 20 years to life if convicted. Brady officers were assisted on scene by McCulloch County Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Hill. Stidham remains in the McCulloch County jail on $350,000 bail.

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