RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Police have released the name of the Richardson police officer who was killed along with a civilian on Wednesday evening. Officer David Sherrard was shot after responding to a call about a disturbance at the Breckinridge Point Apartments, near Renner Road and North Star Road.
During a morning news conference Richardson police Chief Jimmy Spivey said when officers arrived they found the injured civilian and began rendering aid. “In the course of their investigation they were led to an apartment where they made an entry and immediately encountered gunfire.”
The Chief said Officer Sherrard fell back out of the apartment and was immediately helped by other officers.
After allegedly shooting Officer Sherrard, accused gunman Brandon De McCall barricaded himself inside one of the apartments for more than four hours. The wounded 37-year-old officer was rushed to Medical City Plano but died from his injuries. He had been shot in the neck.
Chief Spivey said, “I can tell you that Officer Sherrard is a brave, tenured police officer who died in the service of his community.”
De McCall, 26, is in custody facing several charges including Capital Murder of a Peace Officer.
Officials in Richardson say they have turned the investigation over to the Plano Police Department. “We have so many of our officers that were involved in this incident we felt like it would be better to let Plano handle this investigation for us,” explained Chief Spivey.
Early Thursday morning police also identified the civilian victim killed as Rene Gamez. Police say the 30-year-old lived in the apartment where McCall held police at bay and that he knew the accused gunman. The exact relationship between the two men, if any, isn’t known.
People who knew Gamez took to social media saying their friend was “sweet” and always “the life of the party.”
The standoff kept residents sheltered in their apartments as McCall randomly firing shots throughout the evening. Ultimately McCall surrendered after officers pumped tear gas into the unit. Witnesses said he shouted “I’m sorry” as he was taken into custody.
McCall does have a criminal history. In 2016 he was arrested by Richardson police for possession of controlled substance. Last summer he was committed to a mental hospital for threatening to jump off a bridge and telling the arresting officers that he wanted to be taken to a doctor and “put to sleep permanently.”
Resident Chrystal Shaw said she sheltered inside her apartment for hours. “The gunfire was very, very loud. It seemed like he was firing about eight or nine rounds and then for about five minutes it would get quiet and then he would shoot again.”
After the shooting Governor Greg Abbott sent his condolences to the Richardson Police Department on Twitter saying “Your loss is a loss to all law enforcement and everyone in our great state. Texas will honor the lost officer with the dignity he deserves.”
Governor Abbott will meet privately with Richardson police Chief Spivey this afternoon.
Officer Sherrard is the first Richardson police officer to be killed in the line of duty since the department was first organized in 1955.
As for how his department was coping Chief Spivey said, “It’s the hardest day we’ve ever had. We’re not doing well. But I will tell you this, this is a police department of professionals and yes it is an emotionally trying, traumatic day but they’re out there right now doing the things that they do best and serving this community. I have every confidence that policing and public safety in Richardson, Texas is going to go on just like it does every other day.”
Officer David Sherrard was a 14-year veteran with the department and was married with two daughters. A memorial for the officer has been started on a cruiser parked outside RPD headquarters and the flag there has been lowered to half-staff.