TEXAS – Officer Nathan Heidelberg of the Midland Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a burglar alarm on the north side of Midland Tuesday morning. Heidelberg, an FTO with the MPD, his probationary officer, and two other officers loudly announced their presence at that home upon arrival. Officers found the door open and knocked several times, rang the doorbell and verbally stated who they were.
According to a press release issued by the city, the homeowner, identified as David Charles Wilson, believing his home was being burglarized, fired shots in the direction of the flashlight being held by Heidelberg, striking him above the protective vest.
Heidelberg was with the department for 5 years. Police Chief Seth Herman said Heidelberg, “represented the best in all of us” and called him, “courageous, selfless, ethical and professional.”
“He was a tireless public servant who devoted every ounce of energy to this profession, the citizens and his fellow officers,” Herman said. “We have lost not only a great officer, but a loving brother and the most positive example of what we should all aspire to be. I wish I was more like Nathan.
He becomes the first Midland Police Department officer to die in the line of duty since 1961. The Midland County Sheriff’s Office lost a deputy in the line of duty in October of 2014. Sgt. Mike Naylor was shot and killed while serving a warrant.
In a statement released by the Mayor’s office, Mayor Jerry Morales stated, “I’m asking our community to come together today and this week to lift our fallen police officer, Officer Heidelberg, his family and the Midland Police Department family in prayer.”
“This is a tragic loss for our community. I want to say thank you for all the surrounding communities for their show of support. Our Midland families need to stand strong and lift each other up during this time of mourning. Please give your support and thanks to all our public servants for all they do to protect our great city,” he said. “As mayor, I ask that all flags be flown at half-staff this week in remembrance of Officer Heidelberg and all those fallen in the line of duty.” According to the same release, MPD officers will wear badge covers for the next 30 days. All flags on city building will be flown at half-staff until sundown on the day of Officer Heidelberg’s burial.
The homeowner has been arrested for manslaughter. His attorney released a statement via e-mail saying,“We are cooperating with investigators to attempt to learn all the material facts as soon as possible. David Wilson believed that his family was experiencing a home invasion and only fired his weapon to protect his family. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to Officer Heidelberg’s family and the Midland Police Department for the events that led to his death.”
— Midland Police Dept. (@MidlandTxPD) March 5, 2019
As of Tuesday evening, Wilson had been released on $75,000 bond.
The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting.