The “hail of gunfire” that killed a Little Elm police officer lasted less than a minute, according to Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison.
He revealed Wednesday that it all happened while an elderly woman was inside the home with the barricaded suspect who took the officer’s life. That suspect had still not been identified as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Detective Jerry Walker was in Harrison’s office when he was called to respond to a report of a man with a gun in a residential area just after 3 p.m., the chief said. The man was later identified as Rudy Garcia, by his brother Jerry.
Walker, who was a marksman observer with Little Elm’s SWAT team, was one of the first SWAT officers to arrive on the scene.
Police had located Garcia and communicated with him before he barricaded himself in the home.
The first instruction for the 15-year veteran officer was to set up an observation point -- a challenge, since it was unknown where in the home the suspect was located, Harrison said. He then joined a patrol officer, who had been part of the perimeter unit already at the scene.
At 4 p.m., a shot was fired from inside the residence. Harrison said he called Walker to see where the shot was fired from. Walker told the chief he believed the suspect was firing at officers.
“Then a hail of gunfire came from inside the residence in the direction of Detective Walker and our patrol officer,” Harrison said.
Officers returned fire into the home in an exchange that lasted less than one minute.
Wounded, Walker was taken away from the scene in a marked patrol car for what Harrison called “advanced life support.” He was later transported by air to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In the hours following the shooting, police discovered there was an elderly woman, believed to be the Garcia's grandmother, inside the home. Officers were able to rescue her through the backside of the home. She was not believed to be hurt.
Harrison said the woman being removed from the home allowed for a robot to enter the home through the front. The robot revealed Garcia was dead.
The Texas Rangers took over the investigation after it was learned that the suspect had died, as is standard protocol with officer-involved shootings.
Little Elm’s police department is expected to be back on duty at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
Services for Detective Walker are pending. Harrison said a fund has been set up at Capital One Bank at 2821 East Eldorado Parkway for those interested in donating.
The Guns and Hoses Foundation of North Texas has also set up a fund online to assist the family.