Reporting Brian New
SAGINAW (CBSDFW.COM) - Six-year-old Alanna Gallagher was sexually assaulted before she was killed, and her body dumped along a residential Saginaw street, according to the capital murder arrest warrant.
The warrant names 17-year-old Tyler Holder as the suspect, and states that his DNA matches that which was found on Gallagher’s body. Holder lives with his mother, two houses down the street from where Gallagher lived.
As members of the Saginaw Police Department, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the North Texas Major Case Investigative Team were serving the arrest and search warrant at Holder’s home on Tuesday morning, police said that Holder fired a gun at officers, hitting Arlington police officer Charles Lodatto in the leg. Lodatto is recovering from his injuries.
Police returned fire, hitting Holder in the head. He is now in critical condition.
Linda McDaniel, Gallagher’s grandmother, said that the family is hoping for answers from Holder. “We just want the case resolved,” she said. “We just want to know what happened to her. We just want to know why — why it happened to her.”
According to the arrest warrant, Holder placed “plastic bags over her head, using tape to tape the bags around her neck, suffocating her.” The nude body of Gallagher was found bound with tape, placed in a garbage bag and wrapped in a tarp on July 1. The arrest warrant also states that Holder’s neighbor, Megan Perez, told police that she had seen the same kind of tarp in Holder’s backyard several months ago, but the tarp was missing after Gallagher was killed.
Perez said that Gallagher would come to her house often to play with her daughters. “I saw her so happy all the time,” Perez said, “and to see what she went through during her last couple of breaths is just devastating and disgusting.”
Parent Lisa Arnold lives in the same Saginaw neighborhood, and has known Holder since he was in the fifth grade. She described the teenager as a “troublemaker” and said that she tried to keep her kids away from him. “He came over. Sometimes he seemed fine, and then he would ask my kids about drugs — in the fifth grade. And that’s when I told him he needed to stay away,” she said.
Arnold remembers talking to Holder on the street, as neighbors gathered on the night that Gallagher’s body was discovered. She said that he acted pleasant and casual, as if nothing had happened.
Neighbor Yolanda Sierra said that she remembers Holder arriving at a memorial held in the Gallagher’s honor, wearing a shirt that read “wanted.” “I noticed him coming around with the shirt,” Sierra said. “I thought, ‘That’s the same kid on her street. Why is he here in this ‘wanted’ T-shirt? It’s inappropriate. It’s not something to wear to a child being remembered. She was murdered.’”
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