ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – One person is dead after an early morning hostage situation and hours-long overnight standoff in Frankston. It happened around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, when neighbors heard multiple gunshots off of County Road 309.
Deputies received a call from a neighbor reporting multiple gunshots. Law enforcement arrived and found a dead male on the front porch of the residence who appeared to have died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim was identified as 38-year-old Marco Matthew Gonzales.
“Yeah I heard the shots and I told them (911 Operator) I told them it sounded like someone was trying to break in,” said neighbor, Billy Washington.
Long-time residents say that for a generally quiet area, this was a shocking situation.
“I walked to the door to see what was going on and there was a guy looking like he was shaken up pretty good. I asked him what was going on and he said someone had fired some rounds. He got missed and he ran down here for protection and used my phone to call 911,” said neighbor, Derrick Fields.
The alleged shooter, identified as 38-year-old Robert Mason Eckert, was still inside the residence and was holding other occupants there against their will, according to officials.
Deputies were able to communicate with Eckert.
“They were able to talk to him and allow him the opportunity to speak his mind and make decisions about the persons in the house whom he was holding against their will,” Flores said. “Eventually, released them one at a time until we were able to safely remove all the occupants of the home.”
Eckert was arrested on a murder warrant and is currently in custody.
“The deceased died from the result of multiple gunshot wounds. Judge James Todd of Precinct 3 of Anderson County performed the on-scene inquest and ordered an autopsy to be performed at Forensic Home Medical Management in Tyler,” said Sheriff Flores.
Eckert is now sitting in the Anderson County Jail and awaiting official charges.
At this time, Flores believes this was an isolated incident and the shooter and victim knew each other, though he did not yet know the exact nature of their relationship.
Watch KETK’s report from the scene earlier this morning: