The police officer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in the 900 block of River Bend at around 6 p.m. Sunday. Two others were also killed in the shootout, including the suspect believed to have shot the officer.
The officer, who authorities will name in the morning, arrived at the apartment complex after shots were fired. According to Lancaster Police Chief Keith Humphrey, the suspect opened fire, hitting the officer. The officer shot back and struck the suspect.
“I’m just hysterical wondering what’s going on,” said Jackie Goldman, who lives at the apartment complex. “Somebody I love could be dead.”
A blue tarp hung over a car near the entrance of the parking lot, and witnesses said they saw gunfire near the vehicle.
“I was standing here,” said resident Tiffany James, pointing to a spot near the vehicle. “I seen the officer when they shot the car. I’d seen when they shot the car.”
One of the individuals killed was identified as the suspect. At a press conference Sunday night, first assistant chief of the Dallas Police Department Charles Cato confirmed that David O’Neal Brown Jr. was killed in the incident. He did not specify whether he was killed before or after the officer opened fire.
“It’s a very difficult situation for me and my officers,” Humphrey said during a press conference earlier in the evening. “I would ask you keep us … and all of our employees in your prayers.”
Police did not identify the officer killed out of respect for his family, but Humphrey said he had been an officer for five years and was 37-years-old.
“(He was) one of the best people, one of the top officers in the department; very caring, very giving, selfless, hard worker,” Humphrey said. “He lost his life defending the citizens of Lancaster.”
Four hours after the shootout, residents lined the police tape at the complex while officers from other nearby departments canvassed the scene for evidence. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department will aid in the investigation.
Humphrey said the department has had emergency calls from that apartment complex, but nothing that would cause any alarm. He referred to the calls as “routine.”
“It’s part of our job,” he said.
Cato said Brown was with his family Sunday night, mourning the deaths of his son and the Lancaster police officer. Cato closed the press conference by asking for support from Dallas residents.
“Chief Brown asks the Dallas community to keep his family in their prayers this evening and in the days to come as his family tries to comprehend the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident,” Cato said.