Weatherford Democrat

June 29, 2013

2 North Texas officers wounded by gunfire


Weatherford Democrat

— ANGELA K. BROWN | Associated Press

GRANBURY, Texas (AP) — A gunman seriously wounded a sheriff's deputy and later injured another officer during a shootout Friday in a North Texas town before he was killed, authorities said.

A Hood County sheriff's deputy was shot in the head after he responded to a disturbance call at a home near Granbury about 10:45 a.m., said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel. Sgt. Lance McLean, 38, was taken to a Fort Worth hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The gunman, identified as Ricky Don McCommas, 49, then fled in a white van and drove into downtown Granbury, about 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. He stopped in the City Hall parking lot near the downtown square and began shooting at officers, hitting Granbury police Officer Chad Davis in the arm. Davis' injuries were not life-threatening but he was hospitalized, Haschel said.

McCommas was shot and killed by officers, Haschel said. A rifle could be seen on the ground near his van a few hours after the shooting, as officers continued gathering evidence in an area blocked off by crime scene tape.

Authorities initially released the wrong name of the suspect.

McCommas was arrested in August on allegations that he assaulted a teenage girl staying at his home in nearby Joshua, then indicted in April on a sexual assault of a child charge in connection with the alleged incident, the Cleburne Times-Review reported.

Court records show McCommas missed a court appearance Friday morning, and a warrant for his arrest was issued, WFAA-TV reported.

Tina Brown, who owns SpellBound gift shop on the square, said she walked out the back door of her store Friday after hearing sirens and what she thought were fireworks. Brown said she saw an officer standing behind a police car firing a rifle, and later saw McCommas on the ground.

After the shootout, she saw a police officer, sitting upright on a stretcher with his arm bandaged before being placed into an ambulance, she said.

McLean has worked for the Hood County Sheriff's Office five years. On Friday afternoon, a few people took flowers to the office, including Erik Clark and some of his relatives. Clark, carrying yellow flowers, said his father had been a deputy in the 1970s and that he knows many people in the office.

"It's just sad," Clark told The Associated Press. "This is our home. I've grown up here. It was a one-horse town, but now we're dealing with big-city problems."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.