An incredibly tragic incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning when a sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot and killed a constable’s office deputy as they investigated a suspicious activity call at a vacant home in Missouri City, about thirty minutes from Houston.
Fort Bend County Constable’s Office Deputy Caleb Rule, a father of four and a veteran police officer who had been a deputy since September, has been identified of the friendly fire tragedy, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Officials said that Rule’s children are all between the ages of 13 and 18, and that his oldest is a daughter who was set to graduate from high school on Friday night.
“No sheriff, no constable, no chief of police, no one, this entire country in the field of law enforcement ever want to hold press conferences like this,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said at a press conference. “An absolute tragedy.”
Nehls did not identify the officer who shot Rule, only saying that he has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement. He explained that officers were responding to a call at a subdivision at 1:45am after a suspicious person jumped into a vacant property’s backyard and then flipped a light on inside.
Three sheriff’s office vehicles and a fourth from the county constable’s office arrived at the scene and found that a backdoor was not secured. As the officers were inside looking around for a suspect, one of the sheriff’s deputy’s weapons discharged, hitting Rule, who was wearing both a bulletproof vest and a body camera at the time.
Rule was immediately life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he tragically passed away.
Texas Rangers have been brought in to investigate the incident, with Nehls saying, “There’s a joint investigation being conducted… we’re piecing together what happened.”
Nehls went on to add that in his eight years of experience as sheriff, this is the first time he’s seen a cop be shot by a fellow officer.
“This is a very somber moment,” the sheriff said Friday. “We are heartbroken over this.”
Please keep Rule’s family and fellow officers in your thoughts and prayers.
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