Steven McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, sadly reports the death of Trooper Damon Allen.
Trooper Allen, 41, was shot and killed by a subject that he had stopped for a traffic violation on the I-45 freeway.
Allen had made contact with the suspect and returned to his patrol vehicle. While Allen was seated in his patrol unit, the suspect then exited his 2012 Chevrolet Malibu and opened fire on Trooper Allen with a high-powered rifle. The trooper was struck by the suspect’s rifle fire multiple times and died at the scene.
Officials in Limestone and Freestone counties conducted a massive, hours-long search for the suspect, Darbrett Black, who fled the scene of the shooting in his vehicle. The man was arrested in a neighboring county after a standoff with several law enforcement officers from multiple agencies.
During the standoff, there was reportedly another gun battle. No further officers were injured in the exchange of gunfire. A short time later the suspect fled into a field. He was eventually captured with the assistance of a police K9.
“Suspect in today’s fatal TXDPS trooper shooting in Freestone County has been captured in Waller County near Prairie View. Excellent operation by numerous agencies to take this suspect into custody with no additional casualties,” the Navarro County Office of Emergency Management said on Twitter.
Suspect in today’s fatal TXDPS trooper shooting in Freestone County has been captured in Waller County near Prairie View. Excellent operation by numerous agencies to take this suspect into custody with no additional casualties. #wallercounty #txdps #freestonecounty
— Navarro County OEM (@NavarroOEM) November 24, 2017
“Our DPS family is heartbroken tonight after one of Texas’ finest law enforcement officers was killed in the line of duty,” said McCraw. “Trooper Allen’s dedication to duty, and his bravery and selfless sacrifice on this Thanksgiving Day, will never be forgotten.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has released a statement that says: “I am saddened to hear of the tragic death of a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper killed today in Freestone County. This trooper died selflessly serving Texas.”
Governor Greg Abbott also released a statement on Thursday evening during the height of the manhunt.
“With heavy hearts on this Thanksgiving, Cecilia and I express our most sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the trooper who was callously killed today in the line of duty,” he said in the statement. “The killer will face justice, and the State of Texas will continue to offer our unwavering support for the men and women in law enforcement who keep our communities safe.”
Black went before a magistrate Friday and was officially charged with capital murder of a peace officer, among other charges. He is being held in the Brazos County Jail — bond has not been set, reported NBCDFW.
Black had a history of vehicle chases and other issues with law enforcement. Jail records show he was free on bond out of Smith County where he was charged earlier this year with aggravated assault of a public servant and evading arrest with a vehicle.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also gave his condolences.
“Never easy losing a colleague, but even worse on a day like today. Prayers and thoughts are with TxDPS and the family and friends of a trooper shot and killed today,” Acevedo said on Twitter.
Never easy losing a colleague, but even worse on a day like today. Prayers & thoughts are with @TxDPS & the family and friends of a trooper shot and killed today. May he RIP, his family comforted & his killer brought to justice without any other officer being injured or killed. https://t.co/1Qwm8Aqxp8
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) November 24, 2017
Texas Senator Ted Cruz offered support as well.
Prayers for the family and loved ones of the @TxDPS Trooper killed on duty today and for all our Troopers who are serving our state and seeking justice for the killer
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 24, 2017
Damon Allen served with the Texas Highway Patrol Division of the Department of Public Safety for 15 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, a son, parents and four siblings.
Trooper Damon Allen is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Thursday, November 24, 2017.
Thursday’s shooting marked the second line of duty death for the Texas DPS this month.
Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper, 62, was conducting a traffic stop on the southbound shoulder of I-35 in Temple at approximately 3:05 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 when his patrol unit was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup.
(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)
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