Death penalty sought for man charged in Texas officer's slaying
Brandon McCall, who proclaimed he wanted to go to war with police, is accused of killing Officer David Sherrard
By Valerie Wigglesworth
The Dallas Morning News
COLLIN COUNTY, Texas — Collin County's district attorney will seek the death penalty for the man who proclaimed he wanted to go to war with police and ended up killing a veteran Richardson officer.
Brandon McCall, 26, of Garland is accused of fatally shooting Officer David Sherrard as well as a friend and exchanging gunfire with seven other Richardson officers earlier this year.
A grand jury on Thursday indicted McCall on two counts of capital murder, one alleging that he murdered Sherrard and the other alleging he murdered Sherrard and Rene Gamez II. McCall was also indicted on seven counts of aggravated assault of a public servant.
After the indictments, District Attorney Greg Willis filed a notice of his intent to seek the death penalty.
The shooting at a Richardson apartment complex on Feb. 7 was described in court documents as a police ambush. The suspect took a tactical position with a clear view of the front door as officers broke in, shouting "police" several times.
Sherrard was the first one through the door. The 13-year police veteran was shot within six seconds. He dropped his weapon without ever firing and made it out of the apartment on his own to seek medical help.
He died less than an hour later at a Plano hospital, becoming the first Richardson officer in the city's history to be killed in the line of duty.
Police had been dispatched to the 4200 block of East Renner Road just after 7 p.m. Feb. 7 about a disturbance with possible gunfire. When they arrived, they found Gamez unconscious on the landing outside his third-story apartment and bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound.
Gamez, 30, who had taken McCall in as a houseguest, also died from his injuries that night.
Police decided to break into the apartment to check for possible other victims. Little did they know that McCall lay in wait, armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle equipped with an optic scope as well as two shotguns.
"It looked like was hunting us," police Sgt. Brian Lee Alcorn later stated in a police affidavit.
McCall exchanged gunfire with several officers that night.
"I could feel the suspect's rounds flying by me," Officer Eddie Nelson Ruiz-Gonzalez stated in an affidavit. "I took cover but was pinned down near a wall. As I took cover, I observed the shooter in a prone position near a bed. At that moment, it was clear that this was an ambush. The suspect continued firing at me, trying to kill me. I returned fire back at the suspect to stop him from killing me."
Ruiz-Gonzalez tried to negotiate with McCall inside the apartment. But the only response was moaning noises, according to an affidavit.
"It did not sound like he was really in pain," Officer Bradley Harsha stated in an affidavit. "Rather, I believe he was attempting to bait the officers into exposing ourselves to additional gunfire by trying to apprehend him."
Six officers became trapped in the kitchen area. Sgt. Chad Swiere arrived with a ballistic shield and took on gunfire while the others squeezed out the door behind him.
"For a second [I] thought I might have no choice but to move forward towards the suspect who seemed determined on killing officers," Swiere stated in an affidavit. "Suddenly I could feel the door open further, allowing me to continue backwards until I was safely out of the apartment."
No other officers were injured. McCall surrendered after an hours-long standoff.
The shootings involving the police were captured on multiple body-worn cameras, according to court documents.
McCall has a history of run-ins with police in Garland and Richardson, including several drug-related arrests and one charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Later that night at the hospital, McCall told a Plano detective that he shot Gamez by accident, according to affidavits. When asked why he shot at police, McCall said: "Because I wanted to."
Days later while in jail, McCall made two phone calls and talked about what happened at the apartment. In those recorded calls, McCall said he knew what he was doing.
"I wanted to go to war with the police," he said.
McCall remains jailed in the Collin County Detention Center. No bail amount is listed on the capital murder charge; bail on the aggravated assault charges totals $1.75 million.
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