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LITTLE ELM (CBSDFW.COM) – Authorities have identified Little Elm Detective Jerry Walker’s killer as 46-year-old Rudy Garcia on Thursday afternoon.
Garcia lived a couple of blocks away from Detective Walker.
Garcia had a criminal record including a parole violation in 2007 and two assault cases from 2010 and 2014.
People have come from all over to add to a memorial outside the Little Elm Police Department, say a prayer, and reflect on the loss to not only Detective Walker’s family but also the citizens of North Texas.
Resident David Arroyo said, “When it happens you don’t know what to think, you don’t know what to do. The only thing that you can do is say ‘thank you’ and be there for each other.”
Wednesday night hundreds gathered for candlelight vigil to honor Detective Walker, who many in the community considered a role model.
Among the crowd were politicians, first-responders, and current and former students who knew Walker when he patrolled the local high school.
Former student Chelsea Bell said, “We graduated in 2010 from Little Elm so we knew him well. We just wanted to teach our kids a little bit about it.”
Some of the most powerful words during the vigil came from State Representative Pat fallen who is angry that another police officer has been killed.
“I’ve had it with those that try to turn this world upside down,” he said. “It’s time to wake up. These fallen are too many and these fallen are the best amongst us.”
Detective Walker was one of the first officers to arrive at a house on Turtle Cove. It was the location where someone had reported that there was a man with a gun.
The shooter had moved from the backyard to the house and fired his weapon. As a marksman observer for the SWAT team, Walker was trying to trace where that first shot came from, when the suspect opened fire. Walker was hit in the neck. Fellow officers rushed him to the hospital but he died from his injuries.
Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison was at the scene that day and saw when his comrade was shot. He said it’s difficult for the department as officers try to continue their work while grieving.
“We have a police force of 51 officers, so you know everyone in our agency. You know their families. You know their kids. It makes it extremely difficult,” he said.
The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into the shooting.
As for the suspect, the shooting led to a more than six-hour standoff that ended when a police robot went into the house and found Garcia dead.
Some neighbors said the shooter, who lived just two blocks from Detective Walker, was “anti-social” and that he would sometimes stand in the middle of the street at three o’clock in the morning.
Detective Jerry Walker was an 18-year veteran of the Little Elm police force. His funeral arrangements are pending. This is the first time an officer in the city has been killed in the line of duty.
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