A West Texas police officer responding to a home security alarm was shot and killed early Tuesday by a homeowner who believed he was being burglarized. City officials in Midland say that Officer Nathan Heidelberg died after being struck by gunfire just above his protective vest, the AP reports. A police statement says Heidelberg, a probationary officer he was training, and two other officers were outside the home and loudly announced their presence from the open front door. But the homeowner, who wasn't identified, believed his home was being burglarized and fired shots at the flashlight Heidelberg held.
Heidelberg died later at a hospital. Homeowner David Charles Wilson was charged with second-degree manslaughter and was released on $75,000 bond late Tuesday. The police statement says Heidelberg was a field training officer who had been employed by the department for five years. The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports that Heidelberg is the first Midland officer to die in the line of duty since 1961. "Words can’t describe how painful it is to lose a friend, lose a colleague," Midland Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Hedrick told KDFW. "You train with these guys, you eat with these guys, you pray with these guys, you know their families. We’re in mourning."
(Read more police officer