Hood County Deputy Dies From Gun Battle Wound

Granbury officer treated for gunshot wound, gunman killed

A Hood County sheriff's deputy that had been shot in the head after responding to a disturbance call has died.

Sgt. Lance McLean, a 38-year-old Hood County sheriff's deputy, was shot in the head at a Granbury home while responding to a disturbance call, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. McLean died from his injuries at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

As word spread of McLean's passing, law enforcement officers arrived from multiple cities to honor McLean's memory outside JPS Hospital. With their police lights flashing, officers stood at attention in the street as the hearse pulled out of the hospital.

"He was one of the best.  The very best,” says Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds.

Deeds said he had big plans for McLean and expected to promote him through the ranks.

"He excels in everything he's ever done,” says Deeds.  “Great guy who's always out to help, help people, help everybody.  He was always there when you needed him."

Granbury Police Chief Mitch Galvan knew McLean as well.

"He was just a tremendous leader.  He had a great sense of humor.  A very caring man,” says Galvan.  “His family was his life and his job was his life."

McLean was a SWAT officer and field training officer who mentored younger deputies. He is survived by his wife and two children with special needs.

"This has been a tremendous loss,” says Chief Galvan.  "You can't replace Lance McLean.”

Two accounts have been set up to help his widow and two children.  They are at Hico’s First National Bank and Community Bank in Granbury.

McLean will be buried in Hico but the day and time of the funeral are pending.

Chad Davis, a Granbury police officer, was also injured in the shootout. Davis sustained a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound to an upper extremity believed to be an arm or shoulder. He was transported to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

Granbury Police Chief Mitch Galvan said Saturday that Davis was being moved out of intensive care. In addition to Davis' shoulder wound, Galvan said doctors found three bullet fragments in his knee.

The shooting suspect, Ricky Don McCommas, 49, of Joshua, was later killed during a shootout with Granbury police just 50 feet from the doors of Granbury City Hall.

Community Mourns Slain Sheriff's Deputy

On Saturday night, a group of Granbury citizens tied blue ribbons on trees, light posts and street signs near city hall in honor of Sgt. Lance McLean.

Joyce Mashburn knew Sgt. McLean through his work as a deputy and says his death has deeply effected her personally.

"If you ever met him, he was such  wonderful deputy," Mashburn said. "He loved his work, he helped out everybody he could help out. The only way I could think of to try and give back is to paint Granbury blue."

A memorial is also growing at the Hood County Sheriff's Office. A patrol vehicle is parked in the front grass and flowers and ribbons are being added to it to remember Sgt. McLean.

"We’ve lost a great deputy, heaven has a new hero," Mashburn said. "We’re going to really, really, miss him."

DPS Details Gun Battle

DPS spokesman Sgt. Lonny Haschel said McLean was dispatched to a residence in Oak Trail Shores shortly before 11 a.m. When he arrived, he made contact with McCommas. Moments later, shots were fired and McLean was struck in the head, Haschel said.

Another Hood County deputy responding to the call provided a description of McCommas' van as it left the scene -- white with its windows shot out.

A neighbor told NBC 5 that McCommas lives in Joshua and drove to the house in Granbury, where he started a ruckus that led to the shooting. Deputies were then called to the scene, the neighbor said.

Granbury police officers later spotted McCommas' van as he pulled into the Granbury City Hall parking lot. It is unclear if McCommas chose to enter the parking lot or was forced there by pursuing police officers.

Haschel said McCommas then got out of the van and exchanged gunfire with Granbury officers.

McCommas was hit several times and died at the scene.

New Details Revealed on Saturday

Sheriff Deeds revealed on Saturday that the suspect, Ricky McCommas, had a criminal trespass warning to stay away from the home on Edgecliff Court north of Granbury, where Sgt. McLean responded and was shot.

Deeds said McCommas was due in court in Johnson County on Friday but never showed up. McCommas was arrested last year for sexual assault involving a minor.

Chief Galvan described the gun battle has happening so quick that he heard the gunshots from inside city hall, but that it was over by the time he reached the scene out front. He described McCommas as having an arsenal.

Witnesses See, Hear Gun Battle

Several witnesses who were working at a residence just 15 feet away from where the van pulled into the City Hall parking lot saw it all go down.

"He had a cold look on his face. He was going to go for them," Joe Vanderveer said. "He put it in park, looked at us, he got out. He turned and then the cop cars pulled up, because they pulled up about 15 seconds after he pulled up. And then the shooting started."

Gary Farina, who is opening a restaurant next to City Hall, a half block north of the town square, said he heard 40 to 50 shots.

"We kept hearing a barrage of gunfire," he said.

Farina and Vanderveer took cover on their outdoor patio before hiding inside the business. They said McCommas appeared to be wearing a vest, but they were unsure if it was a tactical vest or bulletproof vest.

"He definitely looked like he had a purpose in mind," Vanderveer said.

At least 50 evidence markers were placed at bullet casings and other evidence at the scene. What appeared to be an assault rifle was next to McCommas' body for several hours as the investigation continued.

"Those of you who've been to the scene saw how big a scene it is, how many details are going to have to be looked at, so it's going to take some time for everyone to go out and interview witnesses, take a look at physical evidence on the scene, send officers out and really comb those areas," Haschel said.

Haschel had no other details to offer about the shootings, saying only it was an ongoing investigation with large, multiple scenes.

Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office and Joshua police spent hours Friday evening at McCommas' home along Joshua Boulevard. They removed several guns, boxes of bullets and what appeared to be body armor.

Neighbors said McCommas had been buying and selling guns to make ends meet since he lost his job as a security guard at Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist Hospital following a sexual assault arrest in August.

A man who identified himself as a friend of McCommas said he always carried a gun with him but was a nice man who was a good neighbor.

The case is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, the Hood County Sheriff's Office and the Granbury Police Department.

Multiple NBC 5 reporters and editors including Ben Russell, Chris Van Horne, Kevin Cokely,  Greg Janda, and Mark Schnyder contributed to this report.

Editor's note: DPS originally reported the name of the gunman as 60-year-old Richard Randall McComas and then later identified the gunman as 49-year-old Ricky Don McComas.

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