Soldier Who Killed Local Police Officer Identified

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KILLEEN (July 16, 2013)—Pfc. Dustin Billy Cole, 24, of Talihina, Okla., was identified Tuesday as the Fort Hood soldier who opened fire with an AK47 on two Killeen police officers, killing one and injuring a second before other officers killed him.

Killeen police Officer Robert “Bobby” Layden Hornsby (KPD photo)

Police Officer Robert “Bobby” Layden Hornsby, 32, of Killeen died in the shooting and Officer Juan E. Obregon, Jr., 33, was wounded.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, III Corps and Fort Hood senior commander, released a statement Tuesday expressing condolences to Hornsby’s family and hopes for a quick recovery to Obregon.

“On behalf of Fort Hood, I am deeply saddened at the loss of a member of the Killeen Police Department,” he said.

“I am grateful for the bravery of the men and women serving in local law enforcement and their commitment to the public’s safety.”

Cole, who deployed to Iraq from January 2010 to January 2011 and from February 2012 to February 2013, had been assigned to Fort Hood’s 584th Engineer Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood, since February 2009.

He joined the Army in October 2008.

Hornsby was a four-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department and a member of the department’s SWAT team who leaves a wife, a 4-year-old-daughter and a 1-year-old son behind, police said Monday.

A funeral service for Hornsby will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Killeen Convention Center.

Burial will follow at the Killeen City Cemetery.

Visitation begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the convention center.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Killeen Police Department’s Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.

The U.S. Honor Flag, which first flew during recovery efforts at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be flown to Killeen Wednesday in tribute to Hornsby after crisscrossing the country to honor the 19 firefighters who died battling a wildfire in Arizona.

Obregon was shot in the leg and was facing additional surgery Tuesday at Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

He’s a 10-year veteran of the department and is also a member of the SWAT Team.

The shooting occurred at around midnight Saturday night at the Grandon Manor Apartments at 1611 Grandon Dr. in Killeen where callers reported a man with a weapon had threatened people at the pool.

When officers arrived they found the man inside apartment No. 6E “holding a long rifle in a threatening manner,” police said.

The SWAT team including Hornsby and Obregon was deployed just minutes before midnight.

As SWAT officers attempted to talk with the suspect, the man identified as Cole fired one shot then came to the door with his hands up.

He failed to come out of the apartment, however, and as officers attempted to arrest him, he backed into the apartment, picked up the AK47 and opened fire, hitting the two officers.

Other officers returned fire and killed the man.

The two wounded officers were taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in critical condition.

Hornsby was pronounced dead at 1:27 a.m. Sunday.

Obregon was transferred to Scott & White Hospital.

It was the Killeen Police Department's first line-of-duty shooting death and only the second in the city's history.

“Early this morning, this community experienced the loss of one of Killeen’s finest. The days ahead will be challenging, but for now, we are mourning the loss of a great officer. Our hearts and prayers go out to the officer’s family during this difficult time” said police Chief Dennis Baldwin.

According to online records, the last time a Killeen law enforcement officer was shot to death in the line of duty was on April 6, 1917 when town marshal John T. Blair, 46, was gunned down while trying to stop a shootout between and father and son.


Killeen police Officer Juan Obregon (KPD photo)
Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, III Corps and Fort Hood senior commander, released a statement Tuesday expressing condolences to Hornsby’s family and hopes for a quick recovery to Obregon. (Army photo/file)
Fort Hood released this photo of Pfc. Dustin Cole Tuesday. (Army photo)