At a Monday afternoon press conference police revealed what the shooter said just after the murder and moments before taking her own life.
Officials have confirmed that Otto Machelle Thomas was the shooter in the murder-suicide that took the life of Dallas police Officer Larry Tuttle, who worked in the department’s South Central Patrol Division.
Police say Thomas called 911 before ending her own life.
The events played out at a North Dallas apartment complex on Saturday evening. According to police officials, Thomas told the 911 dispatcher that she was Officer Tuttle’s girlfriend. The 42-year-old went on to say she had killed Tuttle.
Before she turned the gun on herself, police say Thomas warned officers that her 6-year-old daughter was in the apartment and she needed someone to come get her.
Thomas allegedly also told the dispatcher she had committed a murder.
During the press conference DPD Assistant Chief Randy Blankenbaker said, “The 911 clerk asked Miss Thomas what had happened and she replied, ‘He was getting ready to hit me again and I just went off. I killed him because he was going to hit me again.’”
Officers arrived at the Lake Highlands Landing Apartments and attempted to engage Thomas in conversation, but they say it seemed clear she had already decided to write her own ending.
“Miss Thomas called 911 a second time,” Assistant Chief Blankenbaker said. “During this call patrol officers can be heard repeatedly giving commands to ‘put the gun away’ and ‘unlock the door.’”
Officials said that shortly after that point in the call officers heard what they believed to be a muffled gunshot. “When SWAT officers arrived they conducted entry into the apartment and discovered Police Officer Tuttle deceased by apparent gunshot wounds,” Blankenbaker said. “And Ms. Thomas deceased by what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Investigators said they had not interviewed the little girl, who neighbors said is autistic. The child is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
When shown a photo neighbors identified the person pictured as Thomas. She appeared in Ebony Magazine in 2001, along with a bio that said that she was a military police officer.
Officials would not comment on Thomas’ relationship to Officer Tuttle, and would only say that the six-year veteran of the department is married.
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