Officer, Dallas Police Chief's Son Killed In Shootout
The Houston Chronicle via YellowBrix
June 21, 2010
UPDATED: June 21, 2010 at 10:48am EST
LANCASTER – A police officer and two other men, including Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s adult son, were fatally shot Sunday night at an apartment complex.
The slain police officer was identified this morning as Craig Shaw, a five-year veteran of the force and a member of its regional tactical team.
“This community has lost a good officer, a very good officer. We are heartbroken,” Lancaster Police Chief Keith Humphrey said.
Shaw, 37, a father of two, is believed to be the first Lancaster officer fatally shot in the line of duty.
He was responding to a report of a shooting about 6 p.m. Sunday at the apartment complex, in the 900 block of River Bend Drive near West Pleasant Run Road in southern Dallas County.
“Officers responded to the apartment complex and started looking for the shooter,” said Kim Leach, a Dallas County sheriff’s department spokeswoman. “At the time, the suspect turned and shot one of the officers, killing him. Another officer returned fire at the suspect and shot and killed him.”
Dallas police officials confirmed late Sunday night that 27-year-old David O’Neal Brown Jr. was among the dead. It was unclear whether he was shot in the initial incident or in the officer-involved shooting.
The other man who was killed was identified as 23-year-old Jeremy Jontae McMillan, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office said early Monday morning.
Investigators did not say whether they believe the Lancaster officer was killed by Brown of by McMillan.
Humphrey said Shaw was one of the top-rated officers in his department, a “well-liked, very caring, very giving, selfless, hard worker … [who] lost his life defending the citizens of Lancaster.”
Witnesses described a chaotic and confusing scene.
“I just heard lots of quick shots – you know, like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you know – that’s all I heard,” said River Bend apartments resident Pat Miles. “I jumped down on the floor.”
Throughout the evening, dozens of area residents remained gathered beyond crime scene tape. Officers were seen embracing one another at the scene.
There appeared to be three crime scenes in different areas of the apartment complex. At one scene, a vehicle was covered in blue tarp and an unmarked police car could be seen a short distance away.
A second scene, near a complex pool, appeared focused on a red sport utility vehicle. The third scene, at the rear of the complex, was centered on a white four-door vehicle that appeared to have crashed next to a Dumpster.
Officers from several area police departments were assisting in the investigation.
Chief Brown could not be reached. First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato, Brown’s second in command, confirmed the death in a prepared statement, which he read late Sunday night at Dallas police headquarters.
“Chief Brown is with his family this evening, and we ask that you respect his privacy at this difficult time,” Cato said.
“As Chief Brown mourns the loss of his son, he also mourns the loss of the fallen Lancaster police officer who has served his community with honor for many years.
In 2003, David Brown Jr. was arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana in Waxahachie. He pleaded no contest and was convicted of a misdemeanor.
The chief said in an interview earlier this year that he was proud of the way his son, also a father, grew after the incident.
“I’m much more impressed when you make mistakes, how you respond to it,” Brown said in May. “It speaks to the kind of man he is. He continued his education, he’s gainfully employed in spite of some of the mistakes that he’s made.”
For Brown, the death of his only son on Father’s Day is the latest in a line of personal tragedies.
In 1988, his police academy classmate and former partner Walter Williams was fatally shot in the line of duty. Three years later, his younger brother, Kelvin Brown, was killed in the Phoenix area by drug dealers.
Brown, who also has two daughters, has said increased crime in his native Oak Cliff neighborhood played a key role in leading him to become a Dallas police officer in 1983.
“We don’t know all of the facts of the incident at this time,” Cato said in his statement. “Chief Brown asks that the Dallas community keep his family in their prayers this evening and in the days to come as his family tries to comprehend the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”