The last time a Central Texas law enforcement officer was shot to death in the line of duty was on May 2, 2002. Limestone County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Davenport, 35, who was working as part of a multi-agency auto task force, was shot and killed as a resident signed a consent-to-search form at a residence in Shive in Hamilton County. A Department of Public Safety trooper and a Lampasas County deputy were wounded. The gunman, Marshall Tilman Tallent, 34, was found dead the next day of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Other Central Texas Law Enforcement Deaths 1993-2013
On Aug. 2, 1993, Mexia police Officer Ricky Ward, 33, was shot to death by 17-year-old who fired on the officer from behind a convenience store. Ward had been dispatched to back other officers on a routine shoplifting call just after midnight that morning.
On April 14, 1998, Mart police officer Scott Harvick became the first Mart officer ever to die in line of duty when he passed away two days after his patrol unit slammed into a tree in western Limestone County on April 12, 1998.
On May 9, 2001, Senior Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Dale Cottle, 51, of Woodway died when his cruiser struck the rear of a tractor-trailer rig that had been involved in an accident on Interstate 35 about 12 miles north of Waco.
On Feb. 2, 2002, Coryell County Deputy Sheriff Larry Dowdy, 55, was killed when his patrol car hit an 18-wheeler on Highway 84 near Oglesby.
On Nov, 21, 2003, Temple police Officer James. G. O’Brien, 38, died when his police motorcycle slammed into the rear of a stopped SUV. He joined the Temple department on Feb. 23, 1996 and had been a traffic unit motor officer since March 3, 1999.
On Nov. 22, 2005, Mexia School District Police Sgt. Scott Neal, 31, died at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco after he was shot during what officials said was a routine training exercise with a gun that was supposed to have been unloaded. Neal had been with the school district for three years, was married and had recently adopted a 4-year-old child.
On Sept. 14, 2007, Temple police Officer David Camden died of injuries received while providing off-duty funeral escort after his motorcycle crashed into a car that had turned out of the motorcade and into his path. Camden joined the Temple Police Department in 1996 after serving as a reserve officer in Belton from 1991 to 1994 and serving in the Texas National Guard from 1989 to 1993. He was commissioned as a Temple officer in 1997.
On Dec. 20, 2010, off-duty Harker Heights Police Officer Andrew Rameas, 33, died after his motorcycle struck an SUV that turned into his path as he escorted a funeral procession in Killeen. Rameas joined the Harker Heights Police Department in August 2009 after serving as a police officer with the North Belle Vernon Police Department in Pennsylvania, the Department of Veterans Affairs and at Fort Hood. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1997 until 2005 as a military police officer and was honorably discharged at the rank of staff sergeant.
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.
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.