McKinney, TX – In 2018, Brandon McCall shot his friend, Rene Gamez II, then shot a Richardson police officer, David Sherrard. It took a Collin County, Texas jury two hours to convict him on two counts of capital murder.
And, even though life with parole was an option, that same jury took just less than eight hours to return with a sentence that was fitting of the crimes he committed.
His fate? Death.
Far too often, as we draw our writing assignments here at LET, we sit in type in anger and frustration as we tell yet another story of some New York judge judge or a California jury showing favoritism to a violent criminal and completely ignoring what they have done.
But, once in a while we get to tell you about a time and place where they got it right. It is nice to see that there are still places who value law, order and life, places where law enforcement is appreciated rather than attacked.
Prosecutors called it an ambush. Defense attorneys called it an accident.
Read that last line again.
One more time.
McCall’s legal team argued that while their client definitely did shoot both men, the slayings were not intentional.
Apparently, he believed that all he did was put bullets into other people, including an officer. Their deaths were their own faults.
McCall was accused of shooting Gamez, 30, in an apartment complex in Richardson, a suburb just north of Dallas, and then shooting Sherrard in the chest as he entered the apartment after responding to reports of gunfire. The 37-year-old officer was a married father of two daughters and later died at a hospital.
McCall barricaded himself in the apartment after the shooting, firing at random during an hours-long standoff before officers arrested him.
During the trial, jurors were shown police body camera video of the moment Sherrard was shot and a video in which McCall admitted to opening fire on officers.
The latter video shows an officer reading McCall his Miranda rights as he lies in a hospital bed after the shootings. The officer then asks McCall why he shot at police.
His response: “‘Cause I wanted to.”
The defense team pleaded for mercy for a young man they say was raised in cruel conditions, asking the jury to think about McCall’s upbringing with an alcoholic father which led to homelessness and neglect.
“If you grew up in a car and had to shower with a hose behind a church would you be the person you are today,” asked Defense Attorney Bubba King who pleaded for a life sentence. “He’ll always be behind bars. He’ll always be behind doors.”
But prosecutors, calling him the worst of the worst, pointed out Sherrard’s family and the dozens of Richardson officers who deserve justice after McCall ambushed police when they entered the apartment where he had just killed his roommate.
In speaking of the members of the Richardson police department, lead prosecutor Bill Wirskye said:
“They may have wanted to kill him that night but they didn’t, because they believe in the system.”
And of McCall, he said:
“There’s a darkness inside him, a void, there’s no empathy, there’s an emptiness and that will always make him dangerous.”
During the trial, the jury heard a phone call McCall made to a friend from jail.
“I wanted to go to war with police…I don’t know, I just couldn’t take it anymore, I didn’t know what else to do.”
“When you go to war with police, those are death penalty cases in Collin County,” Wirskye told the jury. “The man is a cold-blooded calculated cop killer. He deserves the death penalty”
In the sentencing phase, Sherrard’s wife Nicole, and their 15-year-old daughter took the stand and were able to face the man who killed their husband and father.
“I had a bad feeling,” Nicole Sherrard told the jury after getting a text message that an officer had been shot while investigating a murder at a Richardson apartment complex.
The widow of Officer David Sherrard says when she went to the hospital that night in 2018:
“The doctor walked in and said please sit down. He said he didn’t make it and I hit the floor saying ‘no’.”
And how has the time since his death been for her?
“I’m struggling. He was my protector and my best friend. I’m lost.”
The final state witness was Sherrard’s 15-year-old daughter who had Wirskye fighting back tears when she told the jury:
“He was my best friend, he was my go to person. These last 2 years have been really hard.”
Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis thank the jury for their verdict.
“What they said by their verdict is that police officers matter, that our laws matter, and they understood that those who wear the badge in Texas and in Collin County deserve to be protected, and deserve to be honored” he said in a press conference after the verdict.
Nicole Sherrard thanked the jury for doing the right thing and getting evil behind bars.
She also had a lot to say about the Richardson police department.
“I would also like to thank the Richardson police department. All of David’s brothers in blue have stood beside my daughters and I, and the rest of the Sherrard family, over these last two years. Even though they have been grieving and trying to move forward as well.”
We shared the news of Officer Sherrard’s death on February 9, 2018. Here was the original story.
Chief Jimmy Spivey of the Richardson Police Department in Texas sadly reports the death of Officer David Sherrard.
Officer Sherrard along several other officers responded to a disturbance call with shots being fired at the Breckenridge Point apartment complex.
When officers arrived they located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound. They were able to quickly determine which apartment the gunshots originated from.
As officers made entry into the apartment, the suspect opened fire on the officers. Sherrard was struck in the neck by one of the rounds and fell backwards.
As a result, officers retreated from the apartment bringing him to safety. Consequently, the suspect barricaded himself inside the apartment for several hours until he was convinced to surrender by SWAT team negotiators.
Sherrard was transported to Medical City Plano where he underwent emergency surgery, but succumbed to the gunshot wound. The investigation of this incident is being conducted by the Plano Police Department.
“It’s the hardest day we’ve ever had,” Spivey said in a Thursday press conference.
“We’re not doing well. But…this is a police department of professionals. It is an emotionally trying, traumatic day, but they’re out there doing the things they do best serving this community.”
Officer David Sherrard (37 years old) was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday evening (02/0718). He was a 13 year veteran and member of our SWAT Unit. He exemplified the professionalism, heroism, and strong character inherent in all RPD officers. #RichardsonBlue pic.twitter.com/A0seiGwOeE
— Richardson Police (@RichardsonTX_PD) February 8, 2018
“He exemplified the professionalism, heroism, and strong character inherent in all Richardson police officers,” the department said in a Facebook post Thursday. “We are grieving and deeply hurt by this loss.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a tweet Thursday in which he said:
“The hearts and soul of Texas mourn with you.”
“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. May God rest his soul. And may his legacy live on in others’ service,” he said.
David Sherrard served the Richardson Police Department for 13 years. In addition to his road patrol functions, he was a member of the agency’s SWAT team. Moreover, he is the first officer in the history of the Richardson Police Department to be killed in the line of duty.
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