Man Charged In Death Of Area Police Chief Is Former Cop

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LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY (June 20, 2014) David Risner, 57, who’s accused of shooting Little River-Academy police Chief Lee Dixon to death early Thursday evening, spent almost 19 years in law enforcement, records show.

Lee Dixon (Family photo)

Risner was charged Friday with capital murder, according to online records and remained in the Bell County Jail Friday evening without bond.

The affidavit submitted for the warrant Friday says Risner called 911 and told a dispatcher that he had shot a police officer.

The affidavit says Dixon was shot twice with a shotgun.

Records obtained through an open records request from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement show that Risner started his law enforcement career in November 1987 as a jailer in Van Zandt County, spent three months with the Wills Point Police Department and four months with the Edgewood Police Department in 1988 and then spent more than three years with the Gun Barrel City Police Department from late 1988 to late 1991.

In January 1992 he returned to the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office where he remained until April 1994.

From April 1994 to August 1997 he worked for the Edgewood Police Department and then spent one month at the Gun Barrel City Police Department before joining the Grand Saline Police Department where he served from September 1997 to August 2005.

Risner was arrested on Dec. 11, 2013 in Temple for failure to identify and resisting arrest and was released the same day on bond, Bell County Jail records show.

Online records also show a December 2008 arrest for deadly conduct-discharge of a firearm, but no further details were provided.

A man who asked not to be identified who said he was a friend of Risner’s said he couldn't understand why the shooting happened.

He described Risner as an “honest man” and “truthful person” with whom he would have trusted his life.

Law enforcement officers provided a rolling escort Friday as Dixon’s body was taken to Dallas for an autopsy and then returned to the funeral home in Temple that will handle funeral arrangements.

The service is tentatively planned for Thursday.

Dixon, 53, who started on the job just last month, was shot and killed early Thursday evening after responding to a report of a man with a gun at a house in the area of Main and Allison Streets.

The report came in at around 5:10 p.m. Thursday.

Dixon responded alone, but a short time later requested assistance.

Soon after that, authorities began to receive 911 calls about the shooting, Bell County Sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Adams said.

Dixon was shot as he stood on the porch of the home.

Other officers arrested Risner at the scene.

The town’s mayor, Ronnie White, was clearly stunned by the shooting.

“I ain’t soaked it all in yet,” he said.

The Bell County Sheriff's Office will provide law enforcement coverage for the community in the wake of Dixon's death.

Dixon was a police officer in the town of about 2,000 residents south of Temple a decade ago and was hired as chief just last month after serving as a Milam County sheriff's deputy.

He was the fourth officer to die in the line of duty in Bell County in less than a year.

On July 14, 2013, Pfc. Dustin Billy Cole, 24, of Talihina, Okla., opened fire with an AK47 on two Killeen police SWAT Team officers.

Officer Robert "Bobby" Layden Hornsby, 32, of Killeen died.

Officer Juan E. Obregon, Jr., 33, was wounded.

On Dec. 11, 2013, Bell County Deputy Sheriff Adam Davis, 36, who was in a coma and in critical condition after suffering head injuries in a single-vehicle crash on Dec. 1, 2013 while responding to a call died just after 10 a.m. at Scott & White Hospital.

Adams was near the end of his shift when he responded at around 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 1 to a report of a man with a gun near Pendleton.

He lost control of his patrol car on Farm-to-Market- Road 1237 just southwest of the community.

On May 9, Killeen police Detective Charles "Chuck" Dinwiddie, an 18-year veteran and on the SWAT Team for 15 years, was shot while serving a search warrant at 1104 Circle M Dr.

He died on May 11 at Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

Dixon was hired last month to replace Troy Hess, whom the Little River-Academy City Council voted unanimously in March to fire for failing to show up for work or to complete reports.

Hess was hired in September 2009 and had served as chief for the past three years.

He attended the meeting and refused to resign before the council voted to terminate him and later declined to comment pending a possible lawsuit.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled the town until Hess was replaced.

(Matt Howerton contributed to this story)

Little River-Academy Police Chief Lee Dixon (Family photo)