In the early hours of September 1, 2023, a routine patrol by a Van Police officer took a dramatic turn when a vehicle with a missing license plate was spotted on Interstate 20 around mile marker 538. At approximately 6:40 am, the officer initiated a traffic stop. However, the situation quickly escalated when the driver of the vehicle fled on foot into nearby woods.
The alert officer immediately called for backup, prompting a response from law enforcement agencies across Van Zandt County. Sheriff Joe Carter, along with deputies from the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, officers from the Canton Police Department, Texas State Game Wardens, and DPS personnel, converged on the scene.
To enhance their search efforts, the Canton Police Department deployed a drone to survey the wooded area near FM 16, where the suspect had fled. Officers formed a perimeter around the area and, in a coordinated effort, entered the dense woods to apprehend the fleeing individual.
After a challenging pursuit, the suspect was eventually flushed out of the woods and sought refuge in a building adjacent to a residence on FM 16. Law enforcement officers located the suspect without further incident.
The apprehended individual has been identified as Gordon Gilchrist. He was taken into custody at approximately 8:25 am. Following his arrest, Gilchrist was transported by the Van Police Department to the Van Zandt County Justice Center, where he faces multiple felony charges.