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MIDLAND (AP) — A West Texas sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while serving a warrant at the home of a suspected sex offender.
Sgt. Mike Naylor of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office was among a group of deputies serving the warrant Thursday when he was shot in the head. Sheriff Gary Painter told KWES television station there was an exchange of gunfire involving multiple shots and Naylor was struck by the first shot fired.
Dan William Higgins, 37, was charged with capital murder and booked into the Midland County Jail without bond. He also is charged with aggravated sexual assault relating to the warrant being served. A number could not be found for the attorney for Higgins listed on online jail records.
Authorities say the suspect barricaded himself in his home for more than three hours before surrendering and being arrested.
Deputy Sheriff Ed Krevit told the Midland Reporter-Telegram that Naylor was airlifted to a hospital, where he died Thursday afternoon.
Painter said Naylor is the first Midland County deputy to die while on duty in the nearly 30 years that Painter has been leading the office.
Naylor joined the office in April 2004 and worked his way up from a jailer to a sergeant, Painter said. Naylor had volunteered to start a mental health unit within the office and train others to be a part of it. He trained others for various positions but focused mainly on mental health issues and people in crisis, Painter told the Reporter-Telegram.
“He was one of those guys that you don’t have to worry about,” Painter said Thursday. “I’ve never had to worry about him doing anything wrong. He was just so kind to people and worked with people. It’s just a horrible, horrible day.”
The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas said Naylor is the eighth law enforcement officer in Texas to die while on duty this year.
“The tragic murder of Sgt. Naylor is a grim reminder that Texas leads the nation in officer deaths,” CLEAT Executive Director Charley Wilkison said in a statement Friday. “In spite of his expertise and training, Sgt. Naylor lost his life in the service to his fellow citizens in Midland County.”
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