LITTLE ELM, Texas - FOX4 has learned the identity of the gunman, a man with a troubled past, who killed a Little Elm police officer.
Sources close the investigation tell FOX4 that Rudy Joseph Garcia is the man who shot and killed Det. Jerry Walker after being confronted at his home Tuesday afternoon. The 46-year-old convicted felon was found dead inside his home on Turtle Cove Drive after a standoff with police.
Garcia had a criminal history dating back to 2002 in Denton County, including arrests for DWI, evading arrest, assault and family violence.
His neighbors, like Antonio Sutton, saw police called to the home several times. Sutton felt he was dangerous, recalling several confrontations.
"He came out of his garage, out of his territory and walked up on me. And at that point, I just proceeded to walk away. I didn't get into a verbal spat with him or anything,” Sutton recalled. “Had I attacked him, who knows? He could've came here with that same rifle.”
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Texas Rangers have blocked off the house and homes around it to track the trajectories of the bullets fired.
Police Chief Rodney Harrison emotionally described the sequence of events that led up to the 18-year LEPD officer’s death at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“I was actually on the scene I was less than 50 yards away. I saw Detective Walker get shot,” Harrison said, adding that he was talking with Walker on police radios just before he was hit.
Harrison called Walker after hearing one shot from the corner house at Waterview and Turtle Cove.
“Moments later, Detective Walker responded to me, ‘I think that he's shooting at us,’ and then a hail of gunfire that came from inside the residence at the direction of Detective Walker and our patrol officer,” Harrison said. “Detective Walker fell to the ground and our patrol officer on scene immediately returned fire inside the house.”
Cesar Gonzales called Little Elm PD to what would be a deadly encounter when Garcia pointed the gun at him and his co-worker.
“I was the first one to see him outside he was just in front of his house with a machine gun,” Gonzales said. “That's when we just sped off ... and made the phone call to the cops.”
Several hours into the incident police learned an elderly woman was still inside. Denton County Sheriff's deputies got her out through the rear of the home. That allowed police to deploy a robot, which was used to discover Garcia dead inside the house.
Little Elm police have answered calls at the residence before, though none appear to have involved guns.
Many want to know what led Garcia to shoot Walker and want to know any possible motive. Chief Harrison says if a motive can be determined, it will be up to the Texas Rangers.
For those wishing to contribute to Jerry Walker's family, please contact Capital One Bank: Theresa Rocha, 2821 E. Eldorado Pkwy., Little Elm. (214) 544-4832. "Jerry Walker Fund.”