Crime

Deputy Killed In Backyard During Suspected Burglary

| by Michael Howard
Sgt. Craig HutchinsonSgt. Craig Hutchinson

A Texas sheriff's deputy died after being shot in his backyard in the early morning hours of July 25.

Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, of the Travis County Sheriff's Office, called in on his police radio after seeing two people running out of his backyard shortly before 1:30 a.m. Responding officers arrived on the scene in Round Rock, Texas, 10 minutes later to find Hutchinson shot.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries.

Hutchinson's shift ended at 1 a.m., but he is considered to have been killed while on duty because he called in on his police radio and pursued the suspects.

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Investigators are asking for public's help in locating the two suspects. They said it is unlikely the incident was an ambush or targeting killing. Rather, it looks like a burglary gone wrong.

"There's no suggestion this was an ambush," Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton said, according to the Daily Mail. "I heard that there's a lot of burglaries going on in this community, and I think this was just one of the burglaries."

Hamilton added that tools had been stolen from Hutchinson's shed, where the confrontation reportedly occurred.

The slain deputy was a 32-year veteran of the force and was planning to retire in September, according to the Statesman. He started his career as a corrections officer before stints as a patrol deputy, criminal investigator, training academy instructor, detective and patrol sergeant.

"He had quite a distinguished career with our agency," Travis County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kristen Dark said, according to the Statesman. "He has ... taught many, many, many of the men and women that work for our agency. He has a litany of awards to his credit and commendations from other law enforcement agencies. He also has all kinds of letters of appreciation that came from the community that he worked with."

For Sheriff Hamilton, who Hutchinson trained when Hamilton was a rookie on the force, the loss is deeply personal.

"This is near and dear to me," he said, according to the Daily Mail. "This guy was a big teddy bear. Everyone loved him."

Hutchinson is survived by his wife, two children, three stepchildren, two grandchildren and his mother.

Sources: Daily Mail, Statesman / Photo credit: Travis County Sheriff's Office via Statesman

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