LITTLE ELM, Texas - Police confirm the suspect who shot and killed a Little Elm police officer was found dead in his home after a 6-hour standoff Tuesday.
Detective Jerry Walker and other officers responded to the 1400 block of Turtle Cove around 3 p.m. after they received a call about a man with a gun in the neighborhood. When officers arrived, the man was yelling at them through a fence.
After police told the man to drop his weapon, he ran inside his house and started shooting at officers, hitting Walker in the neck. He was flown to Medical City Denton where he later died.
“We ask for prayers for the family of Detective Walker,” said Police Chief Rodney Harrison. “He was a model officer and a person who will be missed here at the department and in the town of Little Elm.”
After the shooting, the man barricaded himself, leading to a 6-hour standoff. Around 10:30 p.m., police said the suspect "was found deceased inside," but did not say how he died.
Antonio Sutton says he lives just a few doors down from the suspect and witnessed the shooting. He says he saw the police presence after picking his kids up, dropped off his 10-year-old and 2-year-old at home and then went closer to check it out.
Sutton says a school bus trying to take students home had to stop and be evacuated. Minutes later, he says he watched a police sniper get positioned outside the home. He heard one loud shot and then about four more fast shots.
Sutton believes the shooter, his neighbor, was shooting from the backyard, although he did not see him firing. He did see the officer get shot and police rush to protect him.
“We're talking about a rifle because I've never seen the suspect himself tonight. I don't know whether he was shooting from the backyard or from a window, but the shot went straight. It had to have been an assault rifle,” Sutton said. “I seen them get them to render him aid just to shield just to make sure there were no other shots that got to him. They got him in the vehicle and rushed him on out of there.”
This shooting caused nearby schools to go on lockdown right as schools were letting out. Students at Lakeside Middle School, Powell Sixth Grade Center and Zellers Center were on lockdown. The district slowly started allowing buses to take students home, but students who typically walk home were held at the school. Parents could pick them up.
Police did evacuate some people from the neighborhood, taking them out of their homes and to the Little Elm Senior Center.
Dozens of officers and firefighters lined up to salute as the 48-year-old officer's body was escorted out of the hospital shortly before 9 p.m.
Walker was an 18-year veteran of the department who was promoted to detective in 2013. He is the first Little Elm officer killed in the line of duty.
He is also a former school resource officer at Little Elm High School and students and staff there were asked to wear blue Wednesday to honor him. Students at three elementary schools in the city are also being asked to wear blue.
Walker leaves behind four children, including a child who was just a few months old.
The suspect has not been identified. Police plan to hold another press conference on Wednesday at 2 p.m.