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Multiple Agencies Partner for Peaceful Resolution in Hostage Standoff

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On November 2, 2020 at 7:24 am the Walker County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call on South Pavey Circle, New Waverly, Texas, reporting a disturbance and shots fired.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered the suspect (Mark Joseph Mathison a 38 year old white male) had arrived at the home of his estranged wife and began arguing with her family members. During the argument, Mathison allegedly shot an elderly female in the shoulder area with a shotgun then struck a second adult female with the stock of the gun. Mathison then forced the female he struck, his two step-children and the mother of the children into the home where he pepper sprayed them all and held them hostage.

Walker County Sheriff’s Deputies and DPS Troopers arrived and were able to rescue the wounded elderly female from the front yard of the residence and get her medical help. She is in a local hospital in stable condition.

Walker County Sheriff’s Office began negotiations with Mathison and were able to successfully gain the release of the children (7 and 12 years old) and the assaulted female out of the home; however, Mathison continued to hold his estranged wife as hostage for several more hours. Due to the potentially lengthy standoff situation, Walker County Sheriff’s Office contacted neighboring agencies for assistance to include: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Team), Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Huntsville Police Department (SWAT), Walker County Constable’s Office, and local fire and EMS. Negotiations continued throughout the day until Mathison allowed the release of the hostage just prior to 5 pm. At 5:13 hostage negotiators were able to successfully convince Mathison to surrender peacefully without further incident.

Sheriff McRae and Sheriff Henderson appreciate the teamwork of the many agencies who came together to peacefully resolve this potentially deadly situation. Their professionalism is evident with the positive outcome, and we want to thank all involved.

Walker County Sheriff’s Office will conduct the investigation into this incident.

Source: Steve Squier, Specialist, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Administrative Services

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