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Little Elm Police Chief Describes the Firefight that Killed Detective

Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison
Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison
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The sequence of events that led to police detective Jerry Walker’s death on Tuesday began just after 3 p.m. when police received a call of an armed man, still unnamed, pacing his backyard on Turtle Cove Drive. The man was holding a rifle.

Neighbors called the Little Elm Police Department and Walker, who was in Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison’s office at the time, responded to the scene along with the rest of the department’s SWAT team.

Walker, who Harrison said was one of the first officers to arrive, was tasked with finding an observation point to monitor the man, who’d barricaded himself in the house.  Walker didn’t know what part of the house the man was in.

After the man began shouting at police, Walker retreated and joined a patrol officer who was trying to set up a perimeter. Shortly thereafter, officers heard a shot inside the house, Harrison said. The chief radioed Walker, who said that he believed the shot was intended for the officers.

Then there were more shots.

“Then a hail of gunfire came from inside the residence in the direction of Detective Walker and our patrol officer,” Harrison said. At least one of these shots struck Walker.

The officers returned fire, starting a firefight that lasted less than a minute. A patrol car hurried Walker to a helicopter, which took him to Denton Regional Medical Center. A few hours later, doctors declared Walker dead.

In the hours after the gun fight, an elderly woman, believed by police to be the suspect’s grandmother, was successfully rescued from the house. Before leaving, she allowed a police robot into the home to search for her grandson.

The robot found the suspect dead. It isn’t clear whether he committed suicide or was shot by police, Harrison said. The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the incident because the suspect died during the shootout.

Walker was a father of four. “It’s been very, very tough,” Harrison said. “We have a young police department, a growing police department. A lot of our officers have never been exposed. In fact there’s very few officers that have been exposed to something like this.”

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