Central Texas DPS trooper declared dead; remains on life support to ‘share gift of life as an organ donor’

DPS Trooper Chad Walker was shot as he pulled over to assist a stranded motorist.
DPS Trooper Chad Walker was shot as he pulled over to assist a stranded motorist.(Texas DPS)
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 2:25 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker, who was shot repeatedly through the windshield of his patrol unit Friday night as he was stopping to help a stranded motorist on a rural road west of Mexia, “no longer displays signs of viable brain activity and he remains on life-support until he can share the gift of life as an organ donor,” the DPS tweeted early Monday afternoon.

Walker has been in the intensive care unit of Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center since he was shot Friday night.

The trooper is survived by his wife, 15-year-old son, twin 7-year-old daughters and a two-month-old daughter.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family.

Walker, whose grandfather, Dennis Walker, was Limestone County’s sheriff from the late 1970s until the mid 1990s, was driving southwest at around 7:45 p.m. Friday on FM 2838 when he spotted a disabled vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the road.

As he pulled up behind the vehicle, the car’s driver got out and opened fire with a handgun.

Walker, who was struck in the head and the abdomen, was taken to the Waco hospital in critical condition.

State troopers were joined by area deputies and police officers in a massive search for the gunman, whom the DPS identified as Dearthur Pinson, Jr., 36.

Pinson, who served a prison sentence for an aggravated robbery 2006 in Crockett and who was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass in 2017 in Palestine, grabbed a backpack from his disabled car and ran after the shooting, authorities said.

The DPS issued a Blue Alert for Pinson early Saturday morning.

The alert was canceled Saturday night after a nearly 24-hour search led authorities to an abandoned home on State Highway 84 west of Mexia, where Pinson was found dead of what authorities say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Walker was the third DPS trooper to die in the line of duty in Central Texas since 2017.

On Nov. 4, 2017, Senior DPS Trooper Thomas Nipper, 63, was killed when a pickup crashed into his patrol car during a traffic stop on Interstate 35 in Temple.

Less than three weeks later, on Nov. 23, 2017, Trooper Damon Allen, 41, was shot to death after a traffic stop on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield.

Like Walker, he was sitting in his patrol unit when the drive of the car he pulled over shot him.

Walker’s Limestone County neighbors were quick to rally in support of him and his family.

On the last night of the Limestone County Fair, bids on rabbits entered by one of Walker’s daughters soared from a bid of $7,000 to nearly $100,000.

“The add-ons poured in from not only buyers but also the community members who were in attendance, and they continue to be sent in,” organizers said in a post online.

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