Continuing coverage of events related to the murder of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher

Saginaw Slaying Suspect Charged in Officer Shooting

VIctim's mother: "Nobody thinks you're down the street from someone developing into a monster"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alanna Gallagher's mother, Laura, spoke to NBC DFW on Wednesday night for the first time since an arrest has been made in the case.

    The 17-year-old North Texas man who is suspected of sexually assaulting and suffocating a 6-year-old neighbor also faces charges in the shooting of a police officer who tried to arrest him.

    Tyler Holder, 17, allegedly fired on officers at his home Tuesday morning when a multi-agency major crimes task force attempted to serve arrest and search warrants, seriously wounding a veteran Arlington officer.

    Holder was charged Wednesday with attempted capital murder in the shooting of Detective Charles Lodatto.

    Saginaw Suspect Charged in Officer Shooting

    [DFW] Saginaw Suspect Charged in Officer Shooting
    Tyler Holder, 17, who is charged with capital murder in connection with 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher's death, also faces a charge of attempted capital murder for the shooting of Arlington police Detective Charles Lodatto.

    He was earlier charged with capital murder in the death of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher. Gallagher, who lived two houses away from Holder, was missing for about five hours when her body was discovered about a mile from her home on July 1.

    Gallagher's Mother Talks About Holder

    Affidavit: DNA Evidence Points to Teen Suspect in Saginaw Slaying

    [DFW] Affidavit: DNA Evidence Points to Teen Suspect in Saginaw Slaying
    Police and FBI investigators are combing through the home of a North Texas teenager who is suspected of sexually assaulting and suffocating his 6-year-old neighbor before wrapping her in plastic bags and binding her in a tarp.

    Alanna Gallagher's mother, Laura, spoke to NBC DFW on Wednesday night for the first time since an arrest has been made in the case.

    "Nobody thinks you're down the street from someone developing into a monster," she said. "There's not just our kids, but so many other kids we'd see out playing. And you think of all the times that all these kids were walking past that house, and you feel like it was a time bomb slowly building that we didn't know about, and it went off on our baby."

    She told NBC DFW that she had not read the affidavit because it is too graphic.

    Karl Gallagher said he called police a couple of years ago because Holder was vandalizing one of their vehicles.

    Alanna Gallagher's grandmother said earlier Wednesday that the last 24 hours have been difficult for family members who read graphic details about her death in the arrest warrant.

    "They're still trying to grieve for their baby; we all are," Linda McDaniel said by phone.

    "They appreciate all the support their friends have given them and even people they don’t know that was offering their support for them and kind words," she said.

    Gallagher's family donated blood to help the officer who injured in the shootout with Holder on Tuesday, she said.

    Affidavit Describes Shooting

    According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lodatto, an FBI agent, and a Saginaw police detective went to Holder's house Tuesday, two doors down from the home of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher.

    FBI Special Agent Andy Farrell knocked on the front door, announced themselves as police and came face-to-face with Holder.

    The FBI agent asked to speak the teen but was refused. When Farrell then told him he was under arrest, "Holder reached behind him and produced a handgun." Farrell grabbed for Holder and the gun and a struggled began. Holder shot Lodatto in the groin, and then Saginaw police Detective Robert Richardson shot Holder in the head, according to the affidavit.

    Lodatto, who is hospitalized in Fort Worth, is expected to recover. Doctors said officers and emergency personnel saved his life by stopping the bleeding at the scene after Lodatto was shot and the bullet severed his femoral artery and lodged in his hip. Lodatto, who was Arlington's 2012 detective of the year, will need more surgery but is expected to recover.

    Holder was also injured in the shootout and remains hospitalized at John Peter Smith Hospital under police guard. His bond is set at $500,000.

    Search of Holder's Home Continues

    Police and FBI investigators combed through Holder's home Wednesday.

    Investigators returned to Holder's Saginaw home just before 7 a.m. to continue their search, removing items from the home.

    There are still many questions in the case; specifically, questions about other vehicles police were seeking, including a sedan seen in surveillance footage and a red pickup truck.

    "We're still looking for information on those," Saginaw police spokesman Damon Ing said. "[They are] not necessarily involved but could've been witnesses."

    Law enforcement sources told NBC DFW on Tuesday that investigators are actively looking for a possible second person in connection with the case. Surveillance video shows that Holder's pickup truck never left his house the day Gallagher disappeared.

    But Ing said it was premature to talk about the possibility of a second suspect in Gallagher's death.

    "It's premature to talk about a second arrest or anything like that, but I can tell you, we are far from being done with this investigation," he said.

    Arrest Warrant Describes Gallagher's Killing

    The arrest warrant issued for Holder outlines the events that lead up to the killing of the 6-year-old and includes graphic details of her death.

    Gallagher was sexually assaulted and was found wrapped in a tarp with plastic grocery sacks taped over her head with duct tape, the warrant states.

    NBC DFW has chosen not to reveal further details about the assault because of its graphic nature.

    According to the warrant, Holder was seen pacing "up and down the sidewalk" when Gallagher's body was found. Neighbors in the area told officers that Holder told them the body recovered was Alanna Gallagher before the victim had been identified.

    Another neighbor also told officers about a gray tarp seen in Holder's backyard two to three months ago that was no longer there.

    Investigators first interviewed Holder on July 1, the day Gallagher was killed. The FBI then interviewed him on July 5 and agreed to provide a DNA sample. On Saturday, Holder's DNA sample matched DNA found on the victim.

    The arrest warrant was issued Tuesday.

    Holder's mother, Kimberly, lives at the home her son but was not there Tuesday morning, police said. She referred calls to her attorneys.

    "Mrs. Holder is in shock and is extremely worried about the condition of her son, as any mother would be," said her attorney, Lance T. Evans. "I ask that the Holder family's request for privacy be honored as they come to grips with yesterday's events."

    A distant relative of Holder's told NBC DFW by phone Wednesday that she was shocked to hear about the murder allegations. She described Holder as a wild child when he was young but said she can't believe "the monster" he has become.

    NBC DFW's Scott Gordon, Greg Janda, Ray Villeda and Eric King contributed to this report. Associated Press reporter Angela K. Brown also contributed to this report.