Source: Dallas police chief's son killed Lancaster officer
10:17 PM CDT on Monday, June 21, 2010
By TANYA EISERER and SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News
LANCASTER – The son of Dallas Police Chief David Brown killed a Lancaster police officer and another man during a Sunday melee that left three people dead, according to a law enforcement official.
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David Brown Jr., 27, was himself shot and killed by officers, according to the official.
A law enforcement source who is familiar with the case and who asked that he not be identified said Brown had been behaving erratically at the apartment complex where the shootings occurred, in the 900 block of River Bend Drive near West Pleasant Run Road in southern Dallas County.
Wearing boxers, sunglasses and no shoes, Brown apparently killed a man who had just pulled into the complex in his car with his wife and children.
A short time later, he shot and killed Craig Shaw, a five-year veteran of the Lancaster police force who was the first officer called to the scene.
"This community has lost a good officer, a very good officer. We are heartbroken," Lancaster Police Chief Keith Humphrey said.
Craig Shaw Shaw, 37, a father of two, was the first Lancaster officer fatally shot in the line of duty.
The other man who was killed was 23-year-old Jeremy Jontae McMillian, according to the Dallas County medical examiner's office.
The law enforcement official who has knowledge of the case said that about 5:40 p.m., a car driven by McMillian pulled into a parking lot at the complex.
McMillian, a family man with two jobs and no criminal history, was accompanied by his wife, an infant and another small child. They were headed to his sister's house for Father's Day dinner.
It is unclear whether McMillian knew Brown.
A man later identified as Brown approached the driver's side and fired a couple of rounds, striking McMillian in the neck and head. The gunman fired several times more at the driver's side of the car, narrowly missing McMillian's wife and children.
Carmena Henderson, 27, a long-time friend of McMillian's, said he attended A. Maceo Smith High School in Dallas. She said he worked at a Lancaster auto repair shop and a Dollar General store.
“He's never been in trouble a day in his life,” she said. “He goes to work, he comes home. He just had a baby. He don't run in the streets, that's not him.”
Jeremy Jontae McMillian She said McMillian's son was born about a month ago and that he had appeared to be particularly happy in recent days.
“He was an innocent bystander that got killed for no reason,” Henderson said. “This is all senseless.”
After shooting McMillian, Brown stalked back and forth to his apartment at least twice, the law enforcement source said. Brown eventually retrieved a rifle from the trunk of a Dodge Stratus, then got into the Stratus.
As sirens began to sound with the approach of police, and as bystanders were yelling and screaming, he backed the car out and began to leave the apartment complex.
Shaw, the first officer there, tried to stop Stratus after witnesses told him the shooter was driving away, the law enforcement source said.
Brown then stopped, got out of his car, and fired at the officer's car.
Shaw returned fire, firing many rounds.
It is not clear if Brown was hit at that point, the law enforcement source said. Brown then got back in the car and began firing again from inside the vehicle.
Shaw was hit in the head.
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Other officers, who by then had arrived on the scene, returned fire, striking the Brown repeatedly. He died at the scene.
"Officers responded to the apartment complex and started looking for the shooter," Kim Leach, a Dallas County sheriff's department spokeswoman, said earlier. "At the time, the suspect turned and shot one of the officers, killing him. Another officer returned fire at the suspect and shot and killed him."
Earlier in the day, there had been a call regarding Brown causing a disturbance at the swimming pool at the complex.
Humphrey said Shaw was one of the top-rated officers in his department, a "well-liked, very caring, very giving, selfless, hard worker … [who] lost his life defending the citizens of Lancaster."
Witnesses described a chaotic and confusing scene.
"I just heard lots of quick shots – you know, like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you know – that's all I heard," said River Bend apartments resident Pat Miles. "I jumped down on the floor."
Throughout the evening, dozens of area residents remained gathered beyond crime scene tape. Officers were seen embracing one another at the scene.
There appeared to be three crime scenes in different areas of the apartment complex. At one scene, a vehicle was covered in blue tarp and an unmarked police car could be seen a short distance away.
A second scene, near the swimming pool, appeared focused on a red sport utility vehicle. The third scene, at the rear of the complex, was centered on a white four-door vehicle that appeared to have crashed next to a Dumpster.
Officers from several area police departments were assisting in the investigation.
David Brown Jr. Chief Brown could not be reached. First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato, Brown's second in command, confirmed the death in a prepared statement, which he read late Sunday night at Dallas police headquarters.
The chief said in an interview earlier this year that he was proud of the way his son, also a father, grew after a 2003 incident where he was arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana.
"I'm much more impressed when you make mistakes, how you respond to it," Brown said in May.
At the time, he said his son was gainfully employed.
900 block River Bend Drive For Brown, the death of his only son on Father's Day is the latest in a line of personal tragedies.
In 1988, his police academy classmate and former partner Walter Williams was fatally shot in the line of duty. Three years later, his younger brother, Kelvin Brown, was killed in the Phoenix area by drug dealers.
Brown, who also has two daughters, has said increased crime in his native Oak Cliff neighborhood played a key role in leading him to become a Dallas police officer in 1983.
"We don't know all of the facts of the incident at this time," Cato said in his statement. "Chief Brown asks that the Dallas community keep his family in their prayers this evening and in the days to come as his family tries to comprehend the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident."
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Butner, N.C. — A major with Butner's police department was dismissed Monday for personal conduct violations for his involvement in covering up a DWI stop involving an off-duty State Highway Patrol trooper.
Maj. Anthony W. Moss' dismissal comes more than a month after the trooper, Capt. James Williams Jr., and two other Butner Public Safety officers, Capt. Walter Williams and Lt. Daniel Parrott, were fired.
"The officers involved in this incident failed to enforce the law and abide by their oaths of office, and we cannot tolerate that," Butner Chief Wayne Hobgood said in a statement. "The public trust was betrayed along with our commitment to serve and protect the citizens of this community."
The officers came under scrutiny following an April 3 traffic stop in Granville County in which officers suspected James Williams of driving while impaired.
Instead of taking action against Williams, the officers dropped him off at a Best Western motel, according to police-radio traffic recordings.
Officers never filed any charges nor administered any sobriety tests, an internal investigation by the public safety department and the State Highway Patrol found.
"Our officers are held to high standards, and we expect no less," Hobgood said. "I have personally met with each and every member of this department since the incident occurred and have made clear my expectations and the repercussions for not meeting them."
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