ARLINGTON — A rookie Arlington police officer and two other people were shot and killed at a southeast Arlington apartment complex Tuesday night.
Officer Jillian Michelle Smith, 24, was fatally shot while taking a report of a domestic assault at the Arbrook Park Apartments in the 1600 block of Nandina Drive.
Smith was sent at about 7:30 p.m. to take the report. Twenty minutes later, officers were dispatched to the same apartment in response to a shooting.
They arrived to find Smith, Kimberly Deshay Carter, 29, and Barnes Samuel Nettles, 38, dead inside the apartment.
City spokeswoman Tiara Richard said it appears that Nettles killed the female officer, his ex-girlfriend, and then took his own life.
She said Smith was fatally shot as she tried to shield the 11-year-old daughter of Kimberly Deshay Carter. It was not clear whether the officer was able to discharge her weapon in self-defense.
Smith — who was sent to the apartment without a partner — was apparently taking the assault report when Nettles returned to the apartment and opened fire, first at Smith and then at Carter.
He then went to the living room of the apartment and apparently took his own life.
The 11-year-old-girl was able to escape unhurt.
Two weapons were found at the apartment but it was unclear whether Carter fired at her ex-boyfriend.
Police said Nettles was a registered sex offender in Arlington for an offense that occurred in Washington state. He had bonded out, and a court date was pending for that incident.
After the shootings, the complex was placed on lockdown, so police could sweep all buildings.
All entrances to the apartments were blocked and visitors were told to come back in three hours. It was later determined that one of the three victims was the gunman.
A fellow officer snapped to a salute early Wednesday morning, as the body of Smith was removed from the upstairs apartment.
Smith was born in Arlington and first became interested in law in the sixth grade. She graduated from Seguin High School in 2005, and the University of Texas at Arlington in August 2009, with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.
She graduated from the Arlington Police Academy in February and completed her field training on December 13.
"Her family is very close. Her sister, Jessica, was her best friend," said Arlington police Chief Dr. Theron Bowman.
"She was a great young lady and an excellent police officer," he added.
"The only reason she wanted to be a police officer — and the only reason she was at that house last night — was to help people," said Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck. "We feel like our hearts are broken. Our hearts go out to the family."
Smith is the eighth Arlington Police Officer to die in the line of duty and the second to die in the line of duty this year.
Officer Craig Story was killed in January when his motorcycle struck a school bus about a mile away from Tuesday's shooting scene.
Donations for the family of Arlington police Officer Jillian Smith can be made through the Arlington Police Association. Checks should be made payable to "APA Foundation - Officer Jillian Smith," and can be mailed to:
Arlington Police Association
P. O. Box 27
Arlington, TX 76004
Donations can also be made in her name through the Arlington Federal Credit Union (AFCU) at any of the AFCU locations. Please contact the Arlington Police Association at 817-261-3471 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.