CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - A Houston County justice of the peace has set the bail amount for an 18-year-old man suspected of firing shots at two Crockett PD officers and breaking the back window of their patrol unit Saturday night.
D'Eric Branford, of Crockett, is still being held in the Houston County Jail on two first-degree felony aggravated assault on a peace officer charges. Collectively, his bail amount has been set at $500,000.
According to a press release, two uniformed Crockett PD officers were riding together in a marked patrol unit at the Pine Ridge Apartment Complex in the 100 block of Martin King Jr. Boulevard when the alleged incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The two officers were parked at the intersection of the apartment complex's private drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard when they heard several shots coming from behind their patrol unit.
One of the gunshots broke the back window of the patrol unit.
The two Crockett PD officers called for backup, and several patrol units headed their way to assist them.
Acting on numerous tips from residents of the apartment complex, the Crockett Police Department quickly identified a suspect and located him a short time later. Branford was detained near the scene of the shooting incident and taken to the police department for questioning.
However, officials with the Crockett Police Department said that several witnesses came forward and identified Branford as the person who fired the shots at the police officers.
"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," the press release stated. "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 later arrested and charged with the two aggravated assault of a police officer charges.
Some of Branford's family members told East Texas News they don't think he meant to shoot at the Crockett Police officers. Some residents in that area of Crockett said they don't believe Branford was the shooter at all.
"I am proud of these two officers that did an excellent job in the face of danger," Crockett Police Chief David Cross said in the press release. "This job is getting more and more dangerous each day and we must remain vigilant. We will continue to patrol the streets of our community and keep our citizens safe. We ask that you continue to pray for our officers and all the officers who put their lives on the line keeping us safe every day."