For the first time in almost a century, a Killeen Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.

The officer died in a shootout at the Grandon Manor Apartments in Killeen Early Sunday morning. Police were called to the scene at 11:40 p.m. Saturday night after residents witnessed a man pointing a rifle at neighbors and asking if they were ready to go to heaven. When officers arrived, the man was carrying a rifle, and Killeen Police Department SWAT was called to the scene.

With snipers positioned on adjacent rooftops, SWAT officers moved in and attempted to speak with the suspect. The suspect reportedly fired a single shot, then approached the door of his apartment with hands held up. Officers attempted to take him into custody, and the suspect moved further into the apartment’s interior, grabbed an AK-47 an began firing.

KBTX-TV

Two Killeen Police Tactical officers were wounded in the shooting; officers returned fire, killing the suspect.  Both officers were transported by ambulance to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in critical condition.  One officer was stabilized and subsequently transferred to Scott & White Memorial Hospital and underwent surgery.

“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you the second officer succumbed to his injuries,” said Carroll Smith, KPD spokesperson in a statement about the incident. Smith said the officer was pronounced dead at 1:27 a.m.

A wounded officer was taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in critical condition. He was stabilized and transferred to Scott & White hospital in Temple and underwent surgery Sunday. He is now in stable condition.

The suspect was shot and killed by police, and neither his identity nor that of the slain or injured officer has been released. The slain officer’s remains underwent an autopsy at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas. As his body was being returned to Killeen, friends of the fallen officer gathered on the Nugent Avenue overpass in Temple which crosses Interstate 35 to honor him as he passed through town. Friends of the officer say he grew up and graduated from high school in Temple, and that he was a loving husband and father.

This is the first time a Killeen Police Department officer has been shot and killed on duty since December 6, 1917.

According to a report in the Temple Daily Telegram, the suspect has been described by neighbors as a friendly neighbor who sometimes overindulged in alcohol. Neighbors say he had recently returned from Afghanistan. The managers of the Grandon Manor apartment complex have not commented on the incident.

Killeen Police continue to investigate the shooting.

 

Additional reporting by Rebecca Rose