Sgt. Lance McLean
Sgt. Lance McLean
Photo credit: Hood County Sheriff's Department
GRANBURY, Texas -- A shootout that left a Hood County sheriff's deputy in critical condition and a Granbury police officer injured was triggered by the gunman confronting a girl he is accused of sexually assaulting.
Ricky Don McCommas, 49, was scheduled to appear in court in Cleburne on Friday. Instead, authorities said, he went to the Oak Trail Shores community, where the 16-year-old girl lived, and shot Hood County Sgt. Lance McLean when the deputy responded to a disturbance call.
McCommas then fled toward Granbury, where he was shot and killed in a gunfight with Granbury police near City Hall. Granbury police officer Chad Davis was wounded in that exchange of gunfire, but his injury was not considered to be life-threatening, said Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a spokesman with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
McLean, 38, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was taken by helicopter ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds was with the deputy's family at the hospital on Friday.
McCommas, 49, of Joshua was scheduled to go to trial on the sexual assault charge in August and had a court appearance Friday, said Joshua Police Chief Annabeth Robertson.
A search warrant was executed at McCommas' home in Joshua Friday by the Texas Rangers. McCommas had worked Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest Fort Worth from April 2004 to October 2012, said hospital spokeswoman Nikki Hall-Branch. She declined to say what his position was at the hospital.
Haschel said that at 10:50 a.m. deputies were called to a disturbance at the Oak Trail Shores community on Lake Granbury, off Tin Top Highway, where McCommas had gone.
"Yes, he did go the victim's house," Robertson said.
After McCommas shot the deputy he fled toward Granbury in a white Chevrolet van, officials said.
As the van neared town, officer Davis spotted it and followed to the courthouse square, said Granbury Police Chief Mitch Galvan.
McCommas pulled into a parking lot at City Hall, southeast of the square, where his van was blocked by sheriff department vehicles, Galvan said.
Joe Vandaveer said he was at a nearby business when the gunman pulled up and got out carrying "an assault rifle."
"He stares right at us," Vandaveer said. "About that time, police pulled up behind him ... and he turned toward them and started walking toward them. We started backing up. The shooting started, and we turned and ran.
"I don't know what he was running from, what he did, but he definitely wanted to get at the cops. He had a very determined look on his face."
Galvan said they rushed out of City Hall when McCommas pulled up.
"It was a shock to everyone," Galvan said.
Davis was shot in the upper right arm by McCommas and the bullet "exited out of his back," said Galvan, who added the officer is expected to make a full recovery. He was being treated at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Galvan said Davis is married and has a young daughter. He has been with the department for 12 years.
John Luton, president of First National Bank of Granbury, said he could hear the sirens approaching and quickly realized that officers weren't responding to just a traffic accident. Then he heard the rapid exchange of gunfire.
"It's not something you're used to hearing sitting inside a 150-year-old rock building," Luton said.
Dozens of shell casings were found around McCommas' van.
One woman said she first thought the shooting was one of the Old West re-enactments that are conducted regularly on weekends in the popular downtown area.
"But this was a whole different kind of noise," she said. "It was bam-bam-bam!"
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service