Report: Sheriff’s deputy ambushed and shot in the head by former town marshal during welfare check

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NEW HARMONY, IN- According to the Indiana State Police (ISP), a Posey County sheriff’s deputy was shot while responding to a welfare check on the evening of September 18th. The deputy has been identified as 41-year-old Bryan Hicks.

In a press release, ISP Evansville District Sergeant Todd Ringle stated that the incident began around 6:46 p.m. when the Posey County 911 dispatch center received a call for a welfare check at 612 Short Street.

Within 10 minutes deputies and the New Harmony town marshal responded to the scene.

While outside the home, a man opened fire on them and law enforcement officers returned fire, wounding the suspect.

Hicks was shot in the head. The suspect has since been identified as 70-year-old Paul D. Wiltshire. Sheriff Tom Latham confirmed that Wiltshire was a former town marshal and reserve deputy. Sgt. Ringle stated that:

“During the exchange of gunfire, a Posey County sheriff’s deputy was shot and critically injured.”

According to authorities, the deputy and the suspect were both rushed to Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.

As of this writing, details regarding their conditions have not been released, but sources stated the deputy is “basically fighting for his life.” Sgt. Ringle said in a statement:

“These types of calls are very nerve wracking. We know that in today’s society it is becoming more violent. These officers went to this residence to check on someone … and unfortunately, bad things occurred and right now, a Posey County deputy is fighting for his life.”

He added:

“Please keep the Posey County sheriff’s deputy and his family in your prayers.”

Wilshire, who has not yet been charged, received multiple gunshot wounds. Latham stated that this was the first officer-involved shooting in Posey County since 1994. He added:

“This situation has sent shock waves through this community and this office.”

According to the sergeant, the wounded deputy has a wife and family. The ISP is handling the ongoing investigation into the shooting. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

In a separate incident, police in Detroit, Michigan are investigating the fatal shooting of an off-duty Wayne County corrections officer who was killed just hours after finishing his shift.

The victim, identified as 23-year-old Devante Jones was shot several times after dropping someone off in the area of East Forest and Chrysler Service Drive in Detroit.

The sheriff’s office said Jones fled the vehicle, trying to escape the gunfire, but was found and privately conveyed to Detroit Receiving Hospital. He had been shot multiple times and has died of his injuries. 

Jones joined the department in October 2019 and worked in Jail Division I. During a news conference, Wayne County Undersheriff Mike Jaafar said in a statement:

“We’re all fathers. As a parent, we can all relate to that loss. I didn’t know the officer personally, but in our line of work you don’t really have to. We are a family and when this happens to one it happens to all.”

Jones was just six hours from the end of his last jail shift before he was killed. He got off at 11 p.m., Jaafar said. The person he dropped off was not a deputy sheriff. Jaafar added that the timeline between Jones leaving work at 11 p.m. and his death just before 5 .m. is unclear. 

Sheriff Raphael Washington issued a statement extending condolences and prayers to Jones’ family. He said:

“This resonates with all of us on the job. We’re going to do all we can to find out what happened.”
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Deputy in critical condition, fighting for his life after being run over and dragged during pursuit

September 4th, 2021

HOUSTON, TX – A Harris County constable deputy was critically injured Wednesday night after being run over and dragged during a pursuit through North Houston.

The driver of the fleeing vehicle was shot and killed by other deputies at the scene.

Deputies were initially dispatched to a domestic dispute involving a man intentionally ramming a stolen vehicle into several other parked vehicles in a church parking lot.

Harris County Pct. 1 deputy constables observed the suspect fleeing the scene, travelling the wrong way on Hardy Toll Road. The deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspect refused to stop and fled.

The pursuit continued for approximately 20 minutes through the streets of North Houston before coming to an end when the suspect crashed the stolen vehicle into a family member’s house in the 1200 block of Mitchell Road.

Following the incident, Houston Police Executive Chief Matt Slinkard said:

“Very dangerous situation. Luckily, no one was hurt inside the home when that suspect ran into the side of the house.”

Deputy Ross Duncan Koonce, 34,  exited his police vehicle and approached the crashed vehicle. The suspect again tried to flee and ran over the deputy.  The suspect dragged the injured deputy approximately 20 feet before striking another marked police vehicle.

According to investigators, five Precinct 1 deputies and a Houston Police Department officer fired shots at the suspect, striking him as he sat behind the wheel of the vehicle.

The injured deputy was flown by helicopter to a trauma center where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Chief Slinkard said:

“The deputy constable got out of his vehicle to approach the suspect. The suspect then, using his vehicle as a weapon, ran over the deputy constable, unfortunately. That deputy constable was run over and was life flighted for injuries from this location.”

A second Precinct 1 deputy was struck in the leg by a ricocheted bullet. He was treated at the scene for his injuries.

Police have not released the name of the suspect.

Deputy Koonce had four years on the force.

HPD Special Investigations Unit and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the shooting, standard procedure when shots are fired inside Houston city limits.

Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said Deputy Koonce is “extremely lucky and blessed to be alive,” but will have a long recovery ahead. Rosen said:

“Let’s pray for him this evening. We have his wife at the hospital. I’m just so thankful for all of the law enforcement support that we’ve had this evening for this deputy. Keep him in your prayers. Hopefully he’ll pull through and be OK.

“Great guy, a great family man, and he’s been just an exemplary officer for our department. So again, I’m prayerful that he’ll be fine and that he’ll be back out protecting citizens every day.”

Rosen said the officer was awake and responsive, surrounded by his family. He is the father of three young children.

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‘Delusional and narcissistic’ man convicted of murdering police detective sentenced to death in Texas

August 8, 2021

 

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The man convicted of the 2016 killing of a San Antonio Police Department detective was sentenced to death earlier in August. According to reports, the jury deliberated for approximately 8 hours before reaching their decision.

Back in July, Otis McKane was found guilty of the November 2016 murder of Detective Benjamin Marconi. At the time of his conviction, McKane reportedly lashed out in the courtroom – as he would either be facing life in prison or the death penalty for the murder that transpired outside of police headquarters in San Antonio five years earlier.

The convicted murderer learned his fate on August 6th, after the jury deliberated for approximately 8 hours before returning with a sentence of death.

The family of the fallen police detective released a statement after the sentence was announced, extending immense gratitude did the District Attorney, prosecuting team and the jury involved in the case:

“Thank you to the many friends and family who attended the trial, we are deeply humbled for the amount of love, prayer and grace we felt through each and every one of you.”

“And finally, to Detective Benjamin Edward Marconi—thank you for making our lives better, and the lives of everyone you touched. You are eternally missed and we will never forget you—rest easy sweet Ben.”

During the hearing that preceded the handed down sentence for McKane, the defense had brought a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Jay Crowder that proclaimed that McKane bore traits of being delusional and narcissistic – an effort hopefully avoid the death penalty, which ultimately didn’t work.

Jacy Reeves, the stepdaughter of the fallen police detective, also took the stand prior to the delivered sentence, lamenting that her stepfather didn’t get to spend more time with her children:

“He was so kind and gentle with children that I believe he couldn’t wait to help mold our children into the people they would become.”

“I have always thought of myself as a strong person, but since then, it feels like I have to be stronger because he was such a strong person and I want that to stay alive and I want to be a good example for him.”

The victim’s brother recalled the disbelief he felt back in 2016 when he saw his brother dead inside of the hospital after the shooting:

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing that this was my brother who had just been murdered.”

Back when McKane was found guilty in late July for the murder of Detective Marconi, he wound up striking a court bailiff with his elbow when lashing out during the verdict.  

However, when his sentence was read aloud in the courtroom on August 6th, he was completely silent and was escorted out of the courtroom without any sort of animated response or incident. 

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‘Enter at your own risk’: Murders in police-defunded Austin, Texas have already tied the number from last year

August 2, 2021

 

AUSTIN, TX- Another Democrat-run, police-defunded city is facing an explosion in crime, this time in Austin, Texas.

With nearly five full months remaining in the year, the number of homicides in the city has already matched the number from all of last year, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

Last Tuesday, police identified two people who were killed earlier this month—22-year-old Dyvyne Ware and 23-year-old Nikolas Eugenio Martinez. Their deaths brought the number of people killed feloniously in Texas’ capital city to 48, Austin police said.

Prior to last year, Austin had not seen such a high number of killings since the 1990s. Since 1985 when a total of 52 people were killed in the city, the number dropped to 40 in 1997 and stayed below that number for 20 years. In 2019, Austin recorded 36 homicides the most since 2016.

According to police Lt. Brett Bailey, who serves in the homicide and aggravated assault unit, he had previously told the outlet that he didn’t expect the numbers to improve anytime soon, noting that August and September are historically the most violent months of the year.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) blamed the “defund the police” movement for the explosion in murders in the city, Fox News reported.

“This is what happens when you villainize law enforcement and defund police. Now more than ever, Austin police need extra support and resources to combat the surge of crime,” he said in a tweet on Thursday.

Breitbart reported that last year, the Austin City Council elected to cut $150 million from the city’s police department budget. The council also eliminated 150 police officer positions that were already vacant. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) seized upon the cut, slamming Austin’s city council at the time.

“Some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” Abbott said in a written statement. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the  Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk and paves the way for lawlessness.”

Austin is hardly alone when it comes to the crime explosion.

According to an update last Thursday to the Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report, murder has increased at a rate of 16 percent across major U.S. cities during the first half of 2021, year over year compared to 2020, and by 42 percent compared to 2019, Breitbart reported.

The murder rate in cities across the country “rose rapidly” in May 2020, which exceeded the previous seasonal peak after George Floyd’s death, caused by fentanyl and meth intoxication, heart issues, and positional asphyxia caused by a Minneapolis police officer. That incident sparked nationwide protests and riots, as well as violence that hasn’t ceased since.

“A precipitous rise in homicide in the late spring of 2020 coincided with the emergence of mass protests after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, although the connection, if any, between the social unrest and heightened violence remains uncertain,” researchers wrote in the report’s conclusion.  

According to the American-Statesman, preliminary data shows gun crimes this year have been particularly high where the homicides are concerned, in particular those related to robberies and drug crimes.

However Bailey noted the number of robberies and drug crimes haven’t increased much in the past few years, although the ones that have occurred have been deadlier.

Over the past five years, Austin has seen a spike in gun violence, some involving assaults and robberies. According to police data, gun violence offenses rose from 689 in 2015 to 1,054 in 2020.

Earlier this month, the city announced an expansion of a program designed to target gun crimes in the downtown entertainment district, where shootings have escalated in the past few months.

In the cases involving Ware and Martinez, police said a reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in either case.

 

 

 

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