Officer killed responding to report of man with a gun in Little Elm
A Little Elm police officer who was shot by a suspect barricaded inside a house on Tuesday afternoon later died at a hospital, Police Chief Rodney Harrison said in a news conference.
Detective Jerry Walker, 48, was shot by a man with a long gun outside a home in the 1400 block of Turtle Cove Drive, officials said.
The suspect was found dead inside the home Tuesday night, Fire Chief Brian Roach said. Officials have not released information as to how the suspect died.
Earlier in the evening, officers were able to get an older woman believed to be related to the suspect out of the home.
The incident started about 3 p.m., when police were called to the home on a complaint that a man had a weapon.
Mathew Mushinski, 28, a nearby neighbor, said he was polishing scratches on his truck and was about to wash it at around 3 p.m. when he saw a police car pull up with the lights on.
“I look to my right and see a cop car pulled up next to a mail box and two police officers, one male, one female. The male had an assault rifle drawn. I dropped the water hose, ran to my garage, got my distance,” Mushinski said.
When officers arrived. they found the suspect holding a gun and screaming in the back yard. When the officers gave him commands, he ran inside, said Lt. Orlando Hinojosa, spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers then moved to the front of the home and gave him more commands.
Mushinski said he saw a SWAT team pull up and a SWAT officer outside his house, so he asked the officer what was going on.
“He said he had everything under control,” Mushinski said. “It wasn’t a minute or two later I heard shots ring out, they were really like simultaneous — almost like an assault rifle shot. It was real continuous.
“As soon as I heard that, I just was like — I literally jumped and I just ran inside.” Mushinski said officers told him to stay on the side of his house farthest from the incident, for safety.
About 4 p.m., the man began shooting from inside the home, striking Walker, Hinojosa said.
Mushinski said he heard gunfire that was “really like simultaneous — almost like an assault rifle shot. It was real continuous.”
A witness told WFAA that she heard 40-50 shots coming from near the home where the incident occurred.
Walker was taken by patrol car to an area where a CareFlite helicopter could pick him up, Hinojosa said.
He was flown to Denton Regional Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead.
“He was a model officer,” Harrison said in a brief statement.
Walker joined the Police Department in September 1998. He was a father of four children, his youngest a few months old and his oldest 22 years old, Harrison said.
About 8:30 p.m., officers began lining up outside the hospital to honor Walker, shortly before his death was announced.
Wednesday morning, Mushinski said the neighborhood was quiet. He said the home where the incident occurred had been taped off with crime scene tape, and a few people seemed to be driving through to take a look at the scene.
Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted about the shooting, asking for prayers, along with dozens of other police departments.
Nationwide, Walker is the sixth officer to be killed in the line of duty this year and the fourth to die from gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Star-Telegram writer Judy Wiley contributed to this report.