Sheriff's Deputy Gunned Down in East Texas Traffic Stop

Slain deputy was the father of two young children, Lt. Gov. says

Gregory Newsom
NBC 5 News

A man who fled after fatally shooting a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in East Texas early Tuesday was later arrested in Louisiana and charged with capital murder, authorities said.

An official with the Panola County sheriff's office said Deputy Chris Dickerson died after he was shot numerous times. Chief Deputy John Depresca said the 28-year-old Dickerson had been with the sheriff's department for eight years.

Gregory Newson, 47, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was arrested about an hour later following a high-speed police chase, Depresca said.

Panola County is located on the Texas border with Louisiana. It's about 160 miles southeast of Dallas.

Depresca said they don't know why Dickerson pulled the sport utility vehicle over near the town of Gary City, but he said Dickerson told dispatch at 1:57 a.m. that he was conducting a traffic stop on that vehicle. The sheriff's office said the driver fled after opening fire on the deputy, who returned fire.

Minutes later, a civilian got on Dickerson's radio and told authorities he was lying on the side of the road, Depresca said.

The sheriff's office said the deputy was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Depresca said that after the shooting, a citizen who had heard about the search for the suspect's vehicle spotted it and called 911, saying it was headed toward Shreveport. Depresca said authorities in Louisiana gave chase and Newson was arrested by police in Shreveport, which is about 57 miles northeast of Gary City.

Depresca said the suspect fired numerous rounds from a semiautomatic rifle and Dickerson fired at least three rounds.

After Newson's arrest, he was taken to a hospital with three gunshot wounds to the leg. Newson remained in jail in Shreveport Tuesday awaiting extradition to Texas. Jail records don't list an attorney for him.

Depresca said Dickerson was married with two young children.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday that Dickerson was the 18th officer killed in the line of duty in Texas this year, and the third this month.

"We’ve lost 41 officers in the line of duty in the last five years in Texas alone and hundreds nationwide," Patrick said. "Please pray for this family, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement everywhere. They stand between a civilized society and total lawlessness."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, too, released a statement which can be read below.

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