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Jeff Smith, NBC 5 News
A witness to the shooting of Sgt. Lance McLean said the gunman, Ricky Don McCommas, arrived at a Granbury home Friday to confront a 17-year-old girl he was accused of sexually assaulting last year.
As the Hood County Sheriff’s Department and town of Hico prepare to memorialize and bury a fallen sheriff’s deputy, we are learning more about the incident where he was fatally wounded.
Sgt. Lance McLean was taken off life support on Saturday after being shot in the head at a disturbance call on Friday morning in Hood County, just four miles north of the Granbury town square.
On Sunday, one of the witnesses, who we have agreed not to identify because he is the boyfriend of a sexual assault victim, told NBC 5 the details of what happened at about 10:50 a.m. Friday.
“Whenever the gun was pointed at me it felt like slow motion, it was like you knew you were about to die in that second,” the 17-year-old said. “It all seemed like a dream.”
The Granbury teenager narrowly escaped with his life and has the scars to prove it.
“He pointed the gun at me and shot, if it wasn’t for the pole that stood in front, I would have been shot in the chest,” the teen said.
The teen said the bullets fired at him came after the suspect, Ricky McCommas of Joshua, had shot McLean.
The teen said McCommas was there to confront his accuser, the teen’s girlfriend. McCommas was charged last year in Johnson County for sexual assault of a minor. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said on Saturday that McCommas was present at a court hearing on Friday when the shootings occurred.
Deeds said there was a criminal trespass warning for McCommas not to go to the home. The teen said McCommas had never been there before, but knew when he saw him that there would be trouble.
“There was an argument, trying to tell her to drop charges, that it had destroyed his life,” the teen said.
The teen said McCommas kept arguing and trying to agitate the situation. He said McCommas never displayed a weapon, not until McLean arrived. Someone in the home had called 911 and said that McCommas had threatened to kill them if the charges weren’t dropped.
“Everybody saw him pull the gun; everybody knew what was going to happen, everybody’s heart dropped. The officer knew too, he had a quick second to react and it wasn’t quick enough,” the teen said. “After all the gunfire and gun battle and (he) left, we went and checked on the officer and we seen what happened. It’s just something you can’t forget.”
"He kind of wanted to kill us all it seemed," the teen said.
The teen, who plans on joining the Army and becoming a police officer himself one day, now can’t forget McLean or the family he left behind.
“Everyone has guilt that the police officer had to give his life for us, and I appreciate that so much,” the teenager said. “I want to meet his family, I want to say thank you. He was a good man for what he did. I think that he’s probably my hero.”
The teenager plans on attending McLean’s funeral in Hico. He wants his family to know that he was a great man for trying to protect him and his girlfriend and her family.
The teenager also cleared up how windows in McCommas’ white van were shot out before he arrived at Granbury City Hall for the shootout with officers that ended his life.
The teen said his girlfriend’s father grabbed his gun and fired at McCommas after McCommas had shot the officer and fired several rounds at everyone in the family’s yard.
The teen also said McCommas was an excellent marksman and that where he fired shots some witnesses had been standing only seconds before when they dove for cover.
The family of the teenager does have some frustrations from Friday’s incidents. They say it took 45 minutes before deputies would allow their son to get medical care. While they were promised an ambulance would arrive, they transported him themselves to the local hospital.
While the fragment wounds were only three centimeters deep, Granbury doctors feared he had shrapnel in his lung and had him flown by air ambulance to Fort Worth. At a hospital in Fort Worth the teen waited an hour before doctors removed the fragments with tweezers. His wounds are superficial and he will make a full recovery.
“Happy that I’m still alive,” the teen said. “Seeing as I have a second chance, I’m not going to let that go by.”