Officer Down: Corporal John "Scott" Gardner, Odessa Police Department, Texas

Officer Down: Corporal John (Scott) Gardner - [Odessa, Texas]


Biographical Info

Age: 30

Cause of Death: Gunfire

Additional Information:
 Corporal Gardner had served with the agency for just over 4 years and had previously served as an animal control officer.

Incident Details: Corporal Scott Gardner and Corporal Arlie Jones were shot and killed when they responded to a domestic violence call.

When Corporals Jones, Gardner, and a third officer arrived, the victim left her home and told the officers that her husband had hit her. The officers were unable to gain entry into the home through the front door. They then attempted to gain entry through the back door. As they did, the suspect opened fire, killing Corporals Jones and Gardner, and critically wounding the third officer.

The suspect was later shot and taken into custody after a four hour standoff.

End of Watch: Saturday, September 8, 2007

2 Tex. officers fatally shot, 1 critically injured responding to domestic

The Associated Press

ODESSA, Texas — A gunman shot and killed two police officers and critically injured a third while the officers were responding to a report of a domestic dispute at the man's house, authorities said.

After the shootings Saturday night, the suspected gunman, 58-year-old Larry White, held police in a four-hour standoff until he surrendered around 10 p.m., Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange said.

This view of the back of a house in Odessa, Texas, Sunday, shows a chain link fence that was smashed when an armored vehicle police used to get a robot close enough to pull the bodies of two Odessa police officers away after they were killed while responding to a domestic disturbance Saturday evening. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)
Investigators say a woman called authorities around 6:15 p.m. Saturday. When police arrived, she came out and told officers her husband had hit her, Mange said. White's wife then went inside next-door neighbor Raymond Graham's house to use his phone, the neighbor said.

Police were unable enter the house through the front door. When they tried to go in the back door, a man began firing at them. He then came out of the house and continued shooting before retreating back inside, Mange said.

Graham said he and White's wife were standing near a window in his home when gunfire erupted.

"She said, 'Larry's drunk and they're going to talk him down,'" Graham said. "And then bam, bam, bam, bam. He opened fire on (the officers)," who had their guns drawn as they made their way into White's backyard.

Killed were Cpls. Arlie Jones, 48, and John "Scott" Gardner, 30. Cpl. Abel Marquez, 32, who was shot in the face with buckshot, remained hospitalized in Lubbock in critical condition.

Graham said the officers returned fire, but they had already been hit.

White, who was shot in the abdomen, was transferred from the hospital to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center and booked on two counts of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder, police said. No attorney was listed for White on his book-in sheet and it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

White's wife could not be located for comment Sunday.

Graham described White as an avid hunter who liked guns and often drank beer during the day. Police had been called to the home at least three times in the past 10 years, Graham said.

"But all the previous times it was nonviolent," he said. "Never anything involving gunfire. He'd get drunk and he'd get a little pushy.

"I can't believe he snapped," he said. "Something made him tweak."

Graham said White's wife told Jones and Gardner that she had locked her husband's guns in the trunk of her older model Mercedes Benz inside the couple's garage last weekend.

A request for information about prior incidents at the home and a copy of the 911 tape from Saturday evening was not immediately fulfilled by Odessa police Sunday.

Graham said White was diagnosed with stomach cancer about two years ago and given six months to live, but the disease was in remission.

The officers' deaths were the first by gunfire in the department's history, and doubled the number killed in the line of duty, Mange said.

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