A Killeen police officer was shot and killed early Sunday after a shootout with a man armed with an assault rifle. It was the first time a Killeen officer was shot in 95 years.

“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,” Chief Dennis Baldwin said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the officer’s family during this difficult time.”

The officer’s name is being withheld to allow his family privacy, Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith said.

Disturbance call

KPD officers responded to a disturbance call at 11:40 p.m. Saturday in the pool area at Grandon Manor Apartments in the 1600 block of Grandon Drive in Killeen.

The person who called police said a white man came out of his apartment carrying a weapon and threatened people in the pool.

Grandon Manor resident Thomas Crain, 20, said he saw the man point a rifle at neighbors, and asked if they were ready to go to heaven. He and another resident called police, who immediately responded.

When officers arrived, they saw the man was carrying a rifle, and the KPD SWAT team was sent to the scene.

Two snipers stood on the roof of a retail building across Grandon Drive, according to Crain and Building 5 resident Joe Saldivar.

The man then went back to his apartment, and was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle when he began “shooting at the officers,” according to a KPD news release.

Two officers were shot. One of them was pronounced dead at 1:27 a.m. Sunday; the other is listed in stable condition following surgery at Scott & White Hospital in Temple. The man with the AK-47 was shot and killed by police during a shootout. His identity was withheld by police pending notification of next of kin.

Witness accounts

Crain stood between Building 5 and Building 6, where he said he witnessed the suspect shoot through an entire round of ammunition and strike an officer near the collarbone. The officer immediately went down. Another officer was shot in the leg. Paramedics then performed CPR on the officers.

The killed officer has been on the force for 4½ years, Smith said. This is the first time since Dec. 6, 1917, a Killeen police officer was shot or killed in the line of duty.

“He was a wonderful person, a wonderful officer, a wonderful father, son and husband,” Smith said. “He was a very, very good guy, and he will be missed very deeply.”

According to online records, 11 police officers died in Texas, and 120 died across the U.S. in 2012.

An ambulance transported both officers to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in critical condition, the release stated.

One officer was stabilized before he was transferred to Scott & White, where he underwent surgery Sunday. Smith said the hospitalized officer was doing well Sunday afternoon.

Neighbors react

The suspect’s next-door neighbor, Tenesha Dixon, 23, and Building 5 resident Joe Saldivar said the suspect was drinking.

Dixon said her husband visited the apartment of the suspect from about 10 to 11 p.m. Saturday, who offered her husband tequila.

Dixon described the man as a friendly soldier who had recently returned from Afghanistan, but “he liked to drink,” she said.

The man’s actions shocked her.

“Our kids would come and play with his puppy,” Dixon said.

Police evacuated Building 6 for about 3½ hours.

On Sunday afternoon, the sidewalk and a doormat lay bloodstained outside the suspect’s apartment.

Multiple bullet holes riddled the adjacent brick retail complex and the apartment unit’s exterior, which bore strewn glass and boarded-up windows.

Crain said he couldn’t sleep after what he saw, and didn’t feel safe in his neighborhood.

Dixon and 29-year apartment resident Mary Curry said violence was rare in the complex.

“This is not a bad neighborhood,” Dixon said. “We renewed our lease twice. My husband’s deploying to Afghanistan, and I’m not going anywhere.”

Grandon Manor managers had no comment.

Police continue to investigate the incident.


(31) comments

Starlene Smith

God Bless to all parties involved


This is why if I ever move back to Texas I will never move to Killeen!! I would rather live in Belton or Temple. Harker Heights is borderline good and bad, but never live in Killeen!!


This is a tragic incident that effects everyone associated with it. The truth will come out in the end, and the questions will be answered when the investigation has been concluded. The news reported an assault rifle was used in the incident. After, reading so many post regarding the definition of this type of fire arm, illustrates different points of views on what it means. The definition of an assault rifle according to Websters is," any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use." I, along with many others, were not at this scene and do not know what really occurred on that tragic night. I got the same information from the news.

I know from my experience in law enforcement you have to make split second decisions to any incident you may encounter, and people have a life time to second guess the course of action that was taken. Again, this is a very tragic incident that effects all, and has shaken the community to its core. My deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to both families that have lost a loved one.


Militaries do not use semi-automatic weapons and all military grade rifles require an automatic fire mode in order to be military grade, and assault rifles have that mode. Semi-automatic civilian replicas are NOT "assault rifles". Webster is wrong.


very interesting point you make referencing the military. Yes, the military does use semi-automatic weapons. The Beretta 92F is a semi-automatic weapon along with the Sig Saur and HK"s they carry. These pistols are issued to ever military member that is qualified on them. Now regarding the rifles, the M1 along with the M-14 were semi-automatic rifles. Eugene Stoner developed the AR-15 (the AR stands for automatic rifle) and sold it to the military and it was branded the M16. The military requested and automatic mode of fire to be developed and used in this weapon to maximize the effectiveness of the rifleman. The commonalities of both the M16 and the AR15 is they have large ammo capacity magazines or clips, and they both had a Bayonet lug that sits under the A frame of the front sight on both weapon systems and there fore classified them as assault weapons. This was prior to "pre-ban assault weapons act". Colt along with the other manufacturers found a way around this and removed the bayonet lug from there future designs and re-branded the weapon systems as sportsman rifles. According United states code and the ATF these weapons still meet the definition of assault rifles.

The point is this is not an attack on a persons second amendment right, but about a senseless tragedy occurred with a weapon that resulted in the deaths of two people and seriously injuring a third.


I am well aware of what militaries use-the 92F is not an assault rifle-Both the M1 and M14 were main battle rifles-not assault rifles. Assault rifles must have an automatic fire mode in order to be classified as an assault rifle. Accordingly, the AR-15 is not an assault rifle. Both the M16 and AR15 have standard capacity magazines, and whether or not a rifle has a bayonet lug means nothing-if the rifle does not fire automatically-it is NOT an assault rifle. To my knowledge there is no definition in the United States Code concerning this, nor in the 1934 National Firearms Act-but is instead contained in the bogus 1994 law that has now expired. So Webster is using an erroneous and obsolete definition, and so are you. Semi-auto rifles are NOT ASSAULT WEAPONS.


This is a tragedy on both sides. I feel sorry for both families, however if this person had not threatened in the first place none of this would have happened, so he is the one to blame.


Although this event was tragic every police officer knows the inherent risk he or she faces everyday. I wish people would quit blaming the NRA or GOP for someone else's actions. If anyone believes no individual should own certain guns or any guns, I suggest you move to a few countries that have shown a long history of civil rights abuses against people who can't own guns.


Please lets not use this cooments section to offend or insults. Auto riffle or not, there was a weapon use to threathen a group of people minding their on buss. Something was spelled wrong, is ok, so what. What happened in our community, should be an eye opener and teach us that even so called nice people can act irrational! outcome: hurt, devastation and lost of an innocent life.


Before commenting further, I will await a factual report from competent sources as to exactly what happened here.

However, unless the rifle used was capable of fully automatic fire, then it is not an "assault rifle", or anything even similar to that.

Facts are facts, and words have meanings. Responsible, professional reporters know this and act accordingly.


Who cares what kind of weapon it was or what kind of weapon it was referred to as. A POLICE OFFICER is DEAD you Dumb Because of some Drunk Soldier don't care if you've been Deployed thirty times should have used some of that Deployment Money to by some Common Sense.


It matters as truth is truth and words have meanings. It seems these fine points escape your limited intellect. Perhaps you should take some of your income and get an education. Your abusive comments have been reported. Have a nice day.


Thanks to the neighbors that called the police immediately as soon as theres saw the attacker threathening the people in the swimming pool area. Due to the fast response from our KPD officers, it did not escalated to a major massacre of innocent families having a day of fun ended by a drunk person. It saddens my heart that we lost an amazing Officer and my prayers go out to his family and KPD for their lost. Also my prayers go out to the attacker or assailants family, however you want to called it doesnt matter. Now to Mrs. Annon, plz, dont be blinded by the fact that he was family. That there might be more to the story? Of course, most likely, just like to every story. But he was the attacker. Just because he was and amazing or nice person doesnt mean he had the right to threathen anyone nor to take someones life. I am glad he was stop before he could had killed any more innocent people or children. Like you said, the situation should not have escalated but the attacker actions made it so. Thank you KPD for taking care of our community.


anyone who fires and kills a cop deserves what he or she get! i feel bad for all the families involved!


This "assailant" is my FAMILY. I do hope that when they release his identity that they also release a bit of info about how he has served this country. People need to remember that he was ALSO killed and that his family is hurting as well. WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY?


Ma'am, I believe the article says a neighbor "described the man as a friendly soldier who had recently returned from Afghanistan." I know that one line is a terribly brief epitaph for a life lost, but I think that most readers on here can figure out some of the rest of the story from it.

On my part, I'm sorry for your loss as well. It's a tragedy any way you look at it.

Vlad the Impaler

I am sorry for your loss, I knew the "assailant". However, I know the damage done when an Officer is killed in the line of duty, as I have lost one of my family members that way. Unfortunately, everything the "assailant" has done in the past, is overshadowed by his choice to kill.....whether or not it was a Police Officer. You say in another post, that he did not deserve to die, but neither did the Officer. He chose to escalate the situation, and should have clearly known the probable outcome of his choice. I am sure we will hold a memorial for him, and I will mourn the memory of him, but I will not attempt to make excuses for his choice. I will pray for the pain that his family will feel because of his choice, as I understand it is a difficult time, and there are many unanswered questions.

But, understand, most people who visit and comment here will not have much sympathy for what you would refer to as an "assailant". Most will look at this as justice served for a Cop Killer. And rightfully so!


Just More senseless Death related to ALCOHOL when is this area going to realize this as a problem? Their either Killing you on the Roads or with Guns. As long as half the lawmakers, Attorneys, Prosecutors and Judges are Alcoholics I guess never. May the Slain Peace Officer Rest In Peace, Prayers for his Spouse and Children.

Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er

Was it necessary for the KDH to show a picture of a blood soaked rug.
Sensationalism at it's finest...


[sad] My heart ache for the police officer family God Bless . This makes me sick. May God Bless the police department in their time of loss. Please God Bless all the residents of Killeen.


[sad]the KDH is in the wrong city & state to post liberal lies, when the PD says it was an AK47, ok, until then try reporting news, not making news!

Educated Red Neck

I understand a police officer is dead. I am a licensed Commissioned Security Officer myself and often work with officers, and a few officers I keep as friends.


I see no mention of the rifle being FULL AUTO,

What I do see, is a media outlet LYING TO THE PUBLIC using very subtle definitions in order to push the Democrat agenda.

Assault Rifle : Full Auto Military Grade, Already Illegal

Personal Defense Rifle : Semi Auto, professional Grade, Legal.

And if any of you jokers wants to call me a "Gun Nut Fool" , let me ask you something :

What is a greater wrong?

Killeen Daily Herald lying to you, even subtly?

Or this guy, for pointing it out?

Dont shoot the messenger.


Fully automatic rifles are not illegal. Those classified as "assault rifles" are similarly not illegal. Semi-auto rifles are not assault rifles on any occasion, period.


Pathetic...sensationalizing a tragic situation to further an anti-America position...I did not see any mention of the rifle being auto...therefore it does not meet the criteria for "assault rifle"


GUN NUT fool what dose it matter if a assault rifle or not a Good police office is dead . I hope the DA gives that friend of yours a death sentence . To send the message we need more live police officers than stupid NRA GOP guns nuts.


Then you just better hope the LEOs are right outside your door the moment you are attacked by someone or a group of ppl. You will never know if theyre armed or not till its too late. Would you rather be armed and prepared to defend you and your family and have nothing happen, or would you rather be unarmed and have an attacker or group of attackers come after you and your family. I dont know about you, nor do I care about what you say. I will say this point blank to you. I will use whatever firearm I have, whether its an AR 15, AK 47, 9mm, or a Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum to stop an attacker on myself, my friends/family and my property. My safety and my family/friends safety override your delusional babblings. LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) are not there to protect you 24/7. They are not gonna hold your hand whenever you walk to a Shell Station to buy some milk. You are gonna have to protect your own self. I choose to protect myself with a gun. Dont like it, TOUGH, this world isnt Burger King. You can't have it your way. Im a die hard gun rights activist, I belong to several gun rights forums. Im also a gun collector of mostly mil-surp weapons pre-dating the Korean War. Do I have a problem with semi-auto rifles that look like their military versions? No I do not. Do I want to own any?.......hrm.....I highly doubt it. Do I want them regulated/banned?.....HELL NO!


The gunman was shot and killed, so I guess you get your wish. Guess that makes you, Smithjr38 as much of a nut as Graywolf.


The gunman was an amazing man. I don't know what the whole story is but either way I assure you he didn't deserve to die and this whole situation should never have escalated to this. (note I'm not saying you said he deserved to die) but obviously some thought he did :(


try learning to spell lib! every rifle is not an ak47, poor reporting again![sad]


Calling people "stupid GOP NRA gun nuts" gets you reported. Enjoy.

Big Al

I saw the police cars around this location early this morning, it looked like Luby"s all over again. There must have been 100 police cars around this location.

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