Texas trooper critically injured in ambush, suspect found dead
MEXIA, Texas - A Texas trooper is critically injured following a roadside ambush, and the man who authorities believe is responsible has been found dead, according to ABC News.
The news outlet states that the body of the 36-year-old alleged gunman, Dearthur Pinson Jr., was discovered Saturday night in a Mexia, Texas home.
Authorities say Pinson barricaded himself in the house during a standoff with law enforcement officers.
ABC News reports that the standoff occurred a day after Pinson allegedly ambushed Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Walker, a married father of four children, shooting him in the head and abdomen when Walker responded to what he apparently thought was a disabled motorist parked on the shoulder of a road about 40 miles northeast of Waco, public safety officials said.
Walker was rushed to a hospital in Waco, where he remains in critical condition, officials said.
"Trooper Walker is still alive but remains in critical condition. Your thoughts and prayers for him and his family are much appreciated," the Texas Department of Public Safety tweeted Sunday night.
"Please keep Trooper Walker and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time," reads a statement from Todd Snyder, regional director of the state Department of Public Safety.
The Texas Rangers, part of the state's Department of Public Safety, is investigating the shooting.
Pinson's encounter with Walker occurred around 7:45 p.m. Friday (March 26), on a rural road about five miles outside of Mexia, which is a small Central Texas town of nearly 7,400 people in Limestone County, officials said.
Walker, who was alone, pulled up behind what appeared to be a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the road and was attacked before he could get out of his patrol car, officials said.
According to public records, Pinson had once served a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery in Houston County, Texas.
Walker has been a member of the Texas Department of Public Safety since 2015.
At least two candlelight prayer vigils were held for the trooper Saturday evening, one outside a Waco restaurant and another outside a courthouse in nearby Freestone, Texas, which was organized by firefighters who have worked with Walker on several emergency calls.
It was at the Freestone vigil that Andrew Weitner, chaplain of the Freestone Fire Department, described Walker as a courageous law enforcement officer and a devoted father and husband.
"You can see the heart of a father, the heart of a servant, someone that knows and recognizes that he's going out to put his life on the line not only for his children but also for the community," Weitner said. "It doesn't stop here. Just like anything or any opportunity, the chance to continue to intercede, the chance to pray for him is still necessary."
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