Central Texas trooper’s organ donation could have far-reaching impact

DPS Trooper Chad Walker.
DPS Trooper Chad Walker.(DPS)
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The family of Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker has lived a nightmare for the past four days after Walker was shot repeatedly Friday through the windshield of his patrol unit as he pulled over to help a stranded motorist west of Mexia.

On Monday, the DPS announced Walker “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.”

Walker’s donated organs could save several lives, but the decision to donate could lead others to sign up as organ donors, too.

“We work year-round to educate the community about the importance of organ donation and when we have high profile cases in the community it draws the public’s attention, they want to know how they can go about becoming a hero as well,” Michelle Segovia with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance said Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of Texans are waiting for lifesaving transplants and Donate Life Texas says 20 people waiting for transplants die daily while waiting for organs.

Those who want to become donors may sign up when they renew their driver’s licenses, or by on the Donate Life Texas website.

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

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.

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