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Soon-to-be-Married Deputy Killed In Gun Battle

Soon-to-be-Married Deputy Killed In Gun Battle

Fort Worth Star-Telegram via YellowBrix

April 25, 2011

JOHNSON COUNTY, TX – An Oklahoma man who gunned down a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy Saturday afternoon and then was fatally shot had threatened his wife, sister and another person before authorities arrived, the Johnson County sheriff said Sunday.

Wesley Davis, 47, brandished a weapon at the three people before he was locked out of the house near Venus in Johnson County.

Sheriff deputies received a call of someone with a weapon, Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said Sunday. Alford said he wasn’t aware of any shots fired before deputies arrived at the scene.

Davis had been staying at the house just a few days, arriving from Oklahoma, Alford said Sunday. Deputies had not responded to any calls at the residence before Saturday afternoon.

“A deputy knocked on the door and he was told that he was in a storage shed,” Alford said. "They did tell him to be careful.”

Davis opened fire with a .380 pistol when the officers approached the shed, he said.

Killed was Deputy Clifton Taylor, 31, who had been with the department a little more than three years and was engaged to be married. Taylor was the first deputy at the scene in the 2200 block of Eagle Court, just outside the Venus city limits.

Taylor was shot three times, in his neck, his side and his back, likely when he was falling to the ground, Alford said. He was pronounced dead at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after being flown by medical helicopter from the scene.

Funeral services for Taylor are pending.

Alford said at a news conference outside JPS Hospital Saturday that Taylor was a “dedicated officer” who was “exemplified by his actions today.”

“I can’t say enough what a fine officer Clifton Taylor was … what a fine man he was,” the sheriff said. “He attended church with me. He will be missed.”

Davis was killed when two other deputies and a Venus police officer returned fire, Alford said.

“Our officers did return fire,” he said. Sheriff’s deputies carry .357 Magnums, he said.

The shootout left two families grieving, the sheriff said.

“Taylor’s family members “are very distraught, but they all send their prayers and concerns to the family of Davis,” Alford said.

“Davis’s family also said the same for them … that they’re sorry for what happened.”

Texas Rangers were called to the scene, which is customary in an officer’s shooting, and will investigate, Rangers Lt. Crayton McGee said.

A bullet struck Deputy Patrick Geyer’s walkie-talkie, Alford said. Geyer, 39, was treated for a bruise and was released from Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital in Cleburne. He has been with the department for eight years.

Also responding was Deputy Eric McClelland, 25, who was not injured.

Alford said his officers are “very distraught” over the shooting.

“You deal with a lot of guilt,” he said. “Guilt for not saving Clifton Taylor and the guilt for having to take the life. of another person. It’s hard on my officers.”

Aside from his deputy’s position, Taylor was working three off-duty jobs to boost his savings before getting married, Alford said.

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