By Valerie Wigglesworth The Dallas Morning News
RICHARDSON, Texas — Richardson police responding to a disturbance on Feb. 7 found themselves caught in an ambush with a man armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, according to newly released documents in the fatal shooting of a veteran Richardson officer and another man at an apartment complex.
“It looked like he was hunting us,” police Sgt. Brian Lee Alcorn stated in the affidavits.
Brandon McCall, 26, was eventually taken into custody on a charge of capital murder of a peace officer in connection with the death of 13-year police veteran David Sherrard. McCall’s friend, 30-year-old Rene Gamez, was also killed that night.
On Thursday, authorities formally charged McCall with seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the attack on police who entered the apartment that night. He is being held in the Collin County Detention Center in McKinney. There is no bond listed on the capital murder charge; his bond on the aggravated assault charges totals $1.75 million.
Richardson police turned the investigation over to Plano Police. Their investigation into the fatal shootings continues.
Defense attorney Edwin King was appointed to represent McCall along with co-counsel Philip Hayes. King said Thursday he had not seen the affidavits in what he described as “a horrific tragedy.”
“We’ll go forward one step at a time,” he said, adding that the case is still in its early stages and his client has not yet been indicted. “There’s a lot going on here. We’ll just have to wait for our day in court.”
The documents, signed by a judge and released Thursday, provide a glimpse into the chaotic scene that night based on statements from officers whose actions were recorded on their body cameras.
The first officers to arrive at the Breckinridge Point apartment complex on Renner Road around 7 p.m. found Gamez unconscious outside his third-floor apartment. Gamez had been shot in the back of the leg and was bleeding profusely, documents state. One witness said they heard Gamez say, “I’m dying.”
Paramedics started treating him there outside the apartment. For safety reasons, they moved him to the second floor, where he died.
After some discussion among officers at the scene, they “decided to enter and clear said apartment due to the possibility that someone else might be inside and need help,” the affidavit stated.
Multiple shouts of “Police” could be heard after Alcorn kicked the locked door five times and it swung open. Seven officers stormed inside.
Sherrard was the first. As he approached a hallway, two consecutive shots came from the suspect holed up in a back bedroom. Both rounds struck Sherrard in the upper torso, the affidavits state.
The video showed six seconds had elapsed between the officers’ entry and Sherrard’s fatal injuries. The husband and father of two girls never fired his own weapon, evidence shows.
Sherrard dropped his firearm and flashlight and walked out the door on his own. As he stepped outside, he told a sergeant, “I’m hit, I’m hit.”
Sherrard was taken to a Plano hospital, where he died at about 8:03 p.m.
‘Determined on killing officers’
The shooting inside the apartment continued between the suspect and the police. Alcorn stated he looked down the hallway and saw a man lying prone on the floor, “moving his head back and forth looking around,” according to the affidavit.
Alcorn described seeing the barrel of a gun and what appeared to be a large eye like a Cyclops.
Police later recovered an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle “equipped with a SIG Sauer Optic scope.” They also discovered two shotguns.
Officer Eddie Nelson Ruiz-Gonzalez, the fourth one through the apartment door, said he exchanged gunfire with the suspect as he became trapped near a wall.
“I could feel the suspect’s rounds flying by me,” he stated. “As I took cover, I observed the shooter in a prone position near a bed. At that moment, it was clear that this was an ambush.”
He and the other five remaining officers ended up in the kitchen. Ruiz-Gonzalez stated he tried to negotiate with McCall, who responded with moans.
“Every time the suspect would moan as if he had been injured, we would try and look towards the room, and he would fire more rounds at us as if [he] was baiting us,” Officer Jose Rafael Perez stated in the affidavit.
The trapped officers radioed for someone to bring a ballistic shield. Sgt. Chad Swiere soon arrived. He entered the apartment, holding the shield in front of him and allowing enough room behind him for officers to squeeze out the door one by one.
The shooter “seemed determined on killing officers,” Swiere stated in the affidavit.
Negotiations continued until McCall surrendered at about 11:45 p.m. The unarmed man stepped out of the apartment.
As officers led him down the stairs, he continually yelled, “I’m sorry!”
‘Because I wanted to’
McCall was taken to the hospital for a checkup and treatment for exposure to tear gas, according to the affidavit.
At the hospital, he told a Plano detective that he accidentally shot Gamez as his friend was leaving. McCall stated he was using a shotgun as a crutch when the weapon accidentally discharged. Police found two metal crutches on the floor in the apartment’s living room.
The detective asked why he shot at police.
“Because I wanted to,” McCall replied.
According to the affidavit, McCall made two phone calls from the Collin County Detention Center on Feb. 10. In both calls, he described what happened at the apartment and said he knew what he was doing.
“I wanted to go to war with the police,” he said.
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