On Saturday, July 30, 2016, at approximately 8:30pm two Crockett Police Officers, who were riding together as a two man patrol unit were working an approved security detail at the Pine Ridge Apartment complex located in the 1100 block on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Crockett, Texas. Both officers were wearing approved department attire displaying police department badge and insignia and were in a fully marked Crockett Police patrol unit.
The officers were parked at the intersection of the private drive of the complex and MLK Blvd. While parked at that location the officers heard several gun shots coming from behind the patrol unity, one of which broke the back window out of the patrol unit. The officers called for assistance and several units headed their way to assist.
A suspect was identified and located in the area a short time later thanks to numerous tips to police from the residents in the apartment complex. D'Eric Branford a black male age 18 was detained near the shooting and was taken to the police department for questioning.
Family members of the suspect said they don't believe he meant to shoot at the officers.
"I don't think he meant to do it,"Branfords cousin, Aliya Dixon said. "I think he was playing around and that just happened. He ain't no bad kid, he really a good kid."
Some residents don't believe Branford was actually the shooter.
"They got the wrong one, I don't think he did it," Jagerrion McKnight, a neighbor said.
However officials said Several witnesses were identified that came forward and provided statements that identified Branford as the person who fired the shots at the police officers who were sitting in the patrol unit when their rear window was shot out of their police Tahoe. Another witness also heard Branford bragging about the shooting right afterwards and also provided a statement to police.
We were able to get numerous witnesses from the apartment complex that came forward, that were able to do a great job assisting us in identifying the suspect," Crockett police Chief, David Cross said.
Both officers are uninjured in the shooting and showed great bravery in gathering themselves and communicating with dispatch and providing information that led to the capture of the suspect in the shooting. There are no other suspects in the shooting but there are other suspects that are being investigated that had contact with Branford right after the shooting and may have assisted in destroying evidence from the investigation. Further investigation will follow in this regard and more arrest are possible.
Branford was arrested and booked into the Houston County Jail on two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer both are first degree felonies.