A 14-year veteran of the Richardson Police Department and a 30-year-old man were shot and killed Wednesday night in a double-fatal shooting at an apartment complex.
Richardson police said Thursday morning officers were called at about 7 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a disturbance at the Breckinridge Point Apartments where gunshots had been heard.
Officers arrived at the community on the 4200 block of East Renner Road and found one person suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. A short time later, officers believed they had located the gunman in a nearby apartment and made entry into the residence.
As officers crossed the threshold, they were immediately under fire, according to Richardson Chief of Police Jimmy Spivey.
Spivey said one of the first officers into the apartment, 37-year-old SWAT officer David Sherrard, was struck and fell back out of the apartment. Several officers came to his aid and pulled him to safety. Other officers then attempted to enter the residence and they, too, were under fire.
Police retreated and the suspected gunman, later identified as 26-year-old Brandon De McCall, barricaded himself in the apartment, intermittently firing his weapon. Witnesses reported hearing several gunshots coming from inside the complex while officers kept residents inside their homes for their safety.
While negotiators began trying to reach the suspected shooter, Sherrard was transported to Medical City Plano for his injuries; Sherrard died sometime after 10 p.m., police confirmed. The victim of the initial shooting call, identified as 30-year-old Rene Gamez, was also hospitalized and died early Thursday morning.
"It's a sad day for the Richardson Police Department. This is the first officer that has been killed in the line of duty in our department in our 63-year history. You can well imagine the emotional trauma that's causing the department," Spivey said.
The suspected shooter surrendered to police late Wednesday, after Sherrard died, and was heard yelling 'I'm sorry' as he was being taken toward an ambulance. Shortly after midnight, police announced Gamez had also died.
During their investigation, police learned that Gamez lived in the apartment where police cornered McCall. Plano police spokesman David Tilley said Wednesday night that Gamez and McCall knew each other but the extent of their relationship wasn't immediately clear.
Records at the Collin County Jail show McCall was booked early Thursday on a charge of capital murder of a peace officer. At this time, he has not been charged with Gamez's death.
Court records show McCall has been arrested numerous times on drug charges.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered his condolences on Twitter:
Spivey said Sherrard is survived by his wife and two daughters and that Wednesday was one of the hardest days they've ever had in the department. Spivey added that Sherrard was a "brave, tenured police officer who died in the service of his community."
Sherrard's wife, Nicole, published a public post on Facebook where she said her husband was the greatest man on Earth and that he loved her more than she ever deserved.
"I close my eyes and all I see is his smiling face and it’s like a movie with just flashes of memories over 20 years!! I was blessed to be his first girlfriend and his only true love and he loved me and our daughters so much!" Nicole Sherrard said. "He was a very loved man by so many."
Sherrard was part of a May 2017 NBC 5 story on the Richardson SWAT team -- that story can be seen here.
Spivey said the Richardson Police Department turned their investigation over to the Plano Police Department, thinking it might be better to let someone else handle the investigation since so many Richardson officers were involved in the incident.
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