A 64-year-old woman is dead and six people are in jail after a drug deal turned into a deadly gunfight in Burleson, police say.
According to Billy Cordell, Chief of the Burleson Police Department, the incident happened on Friday evening but police are releasing more details days after the crime because of how extensive their investigation is in the case.
Police said just before 6 p.m. on June 24, several men were making a drug deal in a parking lot off Wilshire Boulevard, near Interstate 35W.
There was a disagreement between the men, which turned into gunfire.
Just as that was happening, 64-year-old Kathryn Bryan of Arlington was driving by in her vehicle on Wilshire Boulevard. Police said she was struck in the head by a single bullet and died on the scene.
Cordell said she had nothing to do with the incident, calling it a senseless crime.
"She's a wife, mother to two boys and a grandmother. She was a chemical engineer at Sachem Inc. in Cleburne," said Cordell. "Friday was like many other days in her 43-year career. She went to work and was going home to Arlington to be with her husband. She stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few items and 10 minutes later, she was caught up in a gunfight between gun dealers that cost her life."
The police chief said Bryan and her husband were getting close to retirement and were looking forward to spending more time together.
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Chuck Bryan, the husband of Kathryn Bryan, described her as a "humble light of love in this world." She is survived by her husband, two sons, granddaughter, grandson, and a third grandchild on the way, father and three brothers.
"All of her cherished family could tell you about a favorite meal she cooked for them. Be it through the family banana cake or a rib roast Christmas feast, her cooking emanated her care for the people she loved. The world deserved a bakery from her," read a statement from Chuck Bryan.
Bryan said his wife was employed as a Global Engineering Manager for SACHEM in Cleburne at the time of her death. She worked for major chemical companies throughout the U.S. in her 43-year career, he said.
"She loved to sew, making beautiful handmade pieces for her family from what she liked to refer to as her “sewing sweatshop.” She had planned years of projects for and with her grandchildren, to be lasting monuments of her love," the statement from her family read. "When you look at how she walked down the aisle at her son’s wedding soon after breaking her foot or remembering a friend’s birthday or work occasion with a special gift, it was all from love."
Police said the preliminary investigation revealed that 28-year-old Gustavo Hernandez and 24-year-old Francisco Mejia, both from Mission, were
meeting 58-year-old David Allen Devaney, Sr., 35-year-old David Allen Devaney, Jr., 40-year-old Clint Daniels Dunlap, and 36-year-old David Matthew Dever to purchase illegal narcotics.
Dunlap, Dever and both Devaney men live in the Fort Worth and Johnson County area.
The group met near Alsbury and I-35W, and the encounter resulted in a chase traveling down Wilshire Boulevard. During the chase, shots were fired at Hernandez and Mejia, police said.
Cordell said the investigation indicated that Hernandez and Mejia used counterfeit money to purchase the narcotics. The other four men also had plans to rip off the two, which is why the encounter turned so violent, he said.
Hernandez and Mejia left their vehicle and fled on foot, jumping into the bed of an uninvolved truck that was also stopped in traffic on Wilshire Boulevard.
Hernandez and Mejia were eventually dropped off in the 800 block of North Burleson Boulevard, near Alsbury and I-35W, police said.
According to police, Mejia was shot in the leg and was subsequently transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He was later released.
Police said on Saturday, June 25, detectives were able to identify the suspect's vehicles through video surveillance cameras and witnesses.
Devaney Sr. was taken into custody on Saturday morning after he exited a
hotel in the 1300-block of Jake Court in Fort Worth, police said.
Devaney Jr. was located soon after. According to police, after a short pursuit, Devaney Jr. fled the scene, but he was later located and arrested.
Police said Dever and Dunlap were apprehended in Benbrook on Saturday evening.
Hernandez and Mejia have both been charged with forgery and engaging in criminal activity involving the manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance.
Devaney, Sr., Devaney, Jr., Dunlap, and Dever have all been charged with capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and engaging in criminal activity involving aggravated robbery.
"What is disheartening is the fact that an innocent woman, who was just traveling from work to home…was caught up in the middle of this and was killed," said Cordell.
Cordell added that he believes they have arrested everyone who was directly involved in the incident and murder.
He said police have more than two dozen search warrants to write as they continue combing through evidence in the investigation.