Robbery suspect fires at patrol officer

Mitchell James Clay

A Beaumont man has undergone at least one surgery and is recovering after he was wounded in a gunfight with Beaumont police Saturday night, Aug. 24. 

According to a BPD press release, officers responded to the Sunshine Market at 3310 Concord in response to a robbery at the small grocer Saturday night about 11:16 p.m. The clerk told police a man robbed him at gunpoint and fled. Minutes later, an officer would find a man matching the description given to police by the store clerk in the 3300 block of Cleveland Street. The press release said when the officer exited his vehicle, the suspect fired a single shot at the officer before fleeing. The officer returned fire several times before the suspect fled and an area-wide manhunt ensued with the help of police K-9 units. 

The man may have been able to evade police for several hours, but wounds he likely suffered when the officer returned fire eventually brought a family member to call EMS on his behalf. 

At about 7 a.m. Sunday morning, Aug. 25, EMS responded to the 3900 block of Steelton in Beaumont after a caller told police her brother had broken his arm. When they arrived, EMS discovered the man had actually suffered a gunshot wound. 

Police arrived soon after, according to the press release, and found a man they identified as 35-year-old Mitchell James Clay of Beaumont. Police identified Clay as the man who robbed the store and shot at police and confiscated items that implicated him in the Sunshine Market robbery, the press release said. 

Monday, Aug. 26, police issued an arrest warrant for Clay, and Judge Dollinger attached a $75,000 bond for aggravated robbery and a $125,000 for aggravated assault of a public servant. 

Clay is still at Christus St. Elizabeth hospital where police will take him into custody upon his release. 

Clay may require numerous follow-up surgeries to repair damage from the gunshot wound, according to the press release.