LANCASTER, Texas — A domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex in a working-class neighborhood ended in a volley of gunfire that killed a police officer and two other men, including the son of Dallas Police Chief David Brown, but authorities refused Monday to say how the officer died or whether Brown’s 27-year-old son fired any shots.
Officer Craig Shaw, 37, was the first officer fatally shot in the line of duty in Lancaster, a city of 35,000 about 15 miles south of Dallas, Police Chief Keith Humphrey said.
“This community has lost a good officer, and we want you to understand we are heartbroken,” said Humphrey, who added that Shaw was married with a 13-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.
“What makes this so devastating was that this was Father’s Day,” he said. “You have an officer who was selfless, working on Father’s Day so that the citizens of this city could be safe. A selfless officer who was always the first to respond.”
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the two other men who died as Jeremy McMillan, 23, and David Brown Jr., 27, the son of the Dallas police chief who took office in May. The medical examiner’s office didn’t provide a cause of death.
Humphrey declined to say whether McMillan or Brown was believed to be the gunman. The investigation was being handled by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, which planned a news conference with Lancaster police on Monday afternoon.
Shaw, who worked for the department for five years, and other officers went to the two-story apartment complex Sunday evening in response to a domestic disturbance call.
“The shooter was confronted, there was an exchange of gunfire. At some point, Officer Shaw was shot,” Humphrey said during a Monday morning news conference. “There was an additional exchange of gunfire. At some point, the shooter was killed.”
The shootout occurred in common areas of the apartment complex. One man was killed while in a car, he said.
The younger Brown had one previous brush with the law. He was arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana in Waxahachie in 2003, but he pleaded no contest and was convicted of a misdemeanor. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News earlier this year, the police chief said he was proud of how his son grew after the incident.
Dallas police issued a statement late Sunday, saying the elder Brown was mourning both deaths.
“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,” Dallas First Assistant Chief Charles Cato said.
Lancaster Sgt. Derek Clark said Shaw was a good father who loved to fish and had been spending time fixing up an old bass boat.
“We talked all the time about his son playing baseball,” Clark said.
Flags were at half staff Monday outside the police department in Lancaster. Mourners left flowers near a patrol car parked outside the building.
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