Two Texas sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed Monday night during a shootout in Eben, reports said.
According to officials, Jeffrey Nicholas, 28, led Concho County deputies in a foot chase before barricading himself in a building. The standoff resulted in an exchange of gunfire that struck and killed two deputies, and injured another person, KLST/KSAN reported.
Authorities have not identified the victims. The two deputies’ bodies were transported to Lubbock on Tuesday for examination.
Nicholas was charged with two counts of capital murder of a peace officer or fireman, and is being held at Tom Green County Jail on a $4 million bond.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement on Tuesday saying, “Our hearts are broken over the senseless murder of two Concho County Sheriff’s Deputies who were gunned down in the line of duty. This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while protecting our communities.”
“The State of Texas is prepared to provide any assistance needed to support the Concho County community and bring the perpetrator of this heinous crime to justice. Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in prayer for the families, friends, and colleagues of these brave Sheriff’s deputies,” Abbott added.
Other police departments released statements of condolences and asking the community to support Concho County.
“Please join us this morning in lifting up in prayer our Brothers and Sisters with the Concho County Sheriff’s Office,” tweeted Frisco Police, a Texas law enforcement agency. “Two of their deputies were killed in a shootout late Monday night in Eden. We will never forget their sacrifice.”
Pearland Police also offered their condolences on social media, tweeting, “@PearlandPD is saddened to have learned of the two Concho County Deputies who were shot and killed in the line of duty late Monday night. Please keep their families and friends and the brave men and women of the Concho County Sheriff’s Office in your prayers.”
Drew Darby, a state representative for Concho County, said that he and his wife “are devastated by the senseless slaying of two Concho County law enforcement officers. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to their families and the entire community. Please join us in lifting their families up in prayer and asking for God’s abundant peace.”
The shooting comes at the start of National Police Week, honoring law enforcement officers who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
“In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week,” the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website states. “Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.”
National Police Week is a “collaborative effort” involving a number of organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary and the Concerns of Police Survivors are the main organizers of National Police Week.