A lone gunman shot and killed two Concho County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a shootout in West Texas on Monday night. Police later took the suspected cop-killer into custody after a short standoff.
Witnesses say the two deputies attempted to pull over the suspected shooter late Monday evening on the northeast side of the small town of Eden, Texas, San Angelo Live reported. The deputies told the driver, “Roll your window down and then put up your hands,” witnesses said. The driver reportedly fled and stopped near his home — a few blocks away.
UPDATE, 11:35 a.m.: San Angelo Live reports deputies moved suspected cop-killer, Jeffery Nicholas, to the Tom Green County jail Tuesday morning. The shooting appears to be related to the deputies responding to a dog complaint. The wounded civilian is reported to be a City of Eden employee.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES:
The witnesses said they heard shouting back and forth between the deputies and the suspect. “Those aren’t my dogs. You are always harassing me and tasing me…” the suspect reportedly said.
San Angelo Live reporters learned there are six dogs that “control the neighborhood.”
Gunshots rang out and witnesses reported the count to be nine to ten expended rounds. The shooting left the two Concho County Sheriff’s Office deputies mortally wounded. A civilian also sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach.
The man reportedly barricaded himself in his home and shouted that he has constitutional rights, the local news outlet reported.
Eden Mayor Pete Torres talked with the barricaded suspect and brought the 30-minute standoff to a successful conclusion with the arrest of the suspect. The mayor is said to live around the corner from the crime scene.
KTXS ABC12 identified the suspect as 28-year-old Jeffrey Nicholas. He is said to be the Concho County jail on two counts of capital murder of a peace officer.
The names of the two murdered sheriff’s deputies have not yet been released.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted his condolences to the families of the two deputies killed in the shooting.
Our hearts go out to the family & friends of 2 Concho County Sheriff’s deputies who were killed in the line of duty last night.
This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while protecting our communities. https://t.co/VMAMUGffRR
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 11, 2021
“Our hearts are broken over the senseless murder of two Concho County Sheriff’s Deputies who were gunned down in the line of duty,” Governor Abbott also said in a written statement. “This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while protecting our communities.”
“The State of Texas is prepared to provide any assistance needed to support the Concho County community and bring the perpetrator of this heinous crime to justice,” the governor added. “Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in prayer for the families, friends, and colleagues of these brave Sheriff’s deputies.”
State Senator Dawn Buckingham added:
My heart goes out to the families of the 2 Concho County Sheriff’s deputies that were killed last night in the line of duty. This is another tragic reminder of the risks our men and women in law enforcement face everyday. #txlege #BackTheBlue https://t.co/QO4bT47cs0
— Dawn Buckingham (@DrBuckinghamTX) May 11, 2021
The shooting death of the two deputies comes during National Police Week. They are the 120th and 121st law enforcement officers nationwide to die in the line of duty this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. They are the 20th and 21st to die from hostile gunfire.