PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) — The Panola County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed early Tuesday morning during an attempted traffic stop has been identified.
Panola County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Depresca confirms that it was Deputy Christopher Dickerson who was fatally wounded just before 2 a.m. on FM-10 near FM-2260 when he tried to pull over a Chevy Tahoe and the driver abruptly got out of the vehicle and opened fire.
In a brief news conference late Tuesday morning, Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake said nearby residents who heard the gunfire found Deputy Dickerson wounded and used his radio to call for help.
The sheriff says the suspect, now identified as 47-year-old Gregory DeWayne Newson of Shreveport, fled the scene.
According to Sheriff Lake, area residents who heard the gunshots found the injured deputy and called for help. The deputy was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.
“We truly appreciate the assistance of the citizens who came to help the deputy and those who called in valuable information and helped authorities track down this suspect,” Lake said Tuesday. “Our hearts are hurting and we ask the community to keep all of our deputies and the family of our fallen officer in your thoughts and prayers.”
Newson was captured just before 3 a.m. in West Shreveport after an officer spotted his vehicle on Pines Road near Westport Avenue and attempted to stop him. That led to a brief high-speed chase, according to an SPD affidavit detailing his arrest.
Police say Newson sped off down Pines Rd. and W. 70th St. before crashing out on Buncombe Road, where a police K-9 assisted officers in taking Newson into custody. Newson remains at Oschner LSU Health Shreveport. He is expected to be booked into the Shreveport City Jail on charges of flight in vehicle and being a fugitive before he is extradited to Panola County on a warrant for capital murder of a peace officer.
The affidavit notes that Newson “is wanted in the shooting of a Panola Sheriff Deputy early this morning.”
Texas Rangers are investigating the incident at the request of the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a statement on the deputy’s death in the line of duty:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the Deputy killed in the line of duty and with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office as they deal with the aftermath of this unimaginable tragedy. We must never forget the solemn oath our law enforcement officers take to protect and keep our communities safe. We must also ensure that the perpetrator faces swift justice. I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in remembering the sacrifice and service of this brave sheriff’s Deputy.”
A prayer vigil will be held Wednesday for the slain officer at Still Waters Cowboy Church in Carthage.
According to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office donations are being accepted for Deputy Dickerson’s wife and children. The donations can be dropped off at the PCSO on 314 W Wellington St. in Carthage, Texas at any time. 100% of donations sent to the PSCO go to Dickerson’s family and will be hand-delivered to his family.
According to the Hawthorn Funeral Home and Cremation Services, funeral arrangements for Dep. Dickerson will be held at Carthage Civic Center on Saturday, January 4 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Linebarger and Deputy Cutter Clinton officiating. His burial will follow at the Restland Memorial park Cemetery.
SUPPORT FOR THE DEPARTMENT
Several surrounding sheriff’s offices have already posted Facebook to share their condolences.