Grief settles in after deputy's violent death in Hood County

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by JOBIN PANICKER

WFAA

Posted on June 30, 2013 at 11:18 AM

GRANBURY, Texas — Deputies who had been praying for a miracle are now planning for a funeral.

Hood County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Lance McLean was shot in the head and mortally wounded while responding to a disturbance call near Granbury on Friday morning.

He died Saturday morning at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after being removed from life support.

"He was one of the best," Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told reporters. "The very best."

McLean, 38, died 24 hours after he was gunned down by a man identified by investigators as Ricky Don McCommas. The sex assault suspect had driven to the home of his alleged victim in the Oak Trail Shores subdivision north of Granbury after missing a scheduled court appearance.

"He had some pretty serious plans evidently in mind when he came out there," Sheriff Deeds said. "He was heavily armed and definitely came to stir up some trouble."

For McLean, a five-year veteran of the department who was first to arrive, this would be final time on duty.

"He was always there when you needed him," the sheriff said. "I had big plans for him. He was a great guy."

Deeds said a memorial service for Sgt. McLean has been set for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Hico High School football field. Visitation will be Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hico Baptist Church.

McCommas, heavily armed, left the scene of Friday's shooting in a white van and engaged in a gun battle with police in downtown Granbury.

Officer Chad Davis was wounded, but is expected to make a full recovery.

McCommas was shot and killed by police. The Texas Rangers are in charge of the investigation.

"We pray every day that stuff like this won't ever happen," said Granbury police Chief Mitch Galvan.  "Every day we get up and we pray that we don't have to deal with situations like this. It's never easy. We're all devastated."

Volunteers worked Saturday to tie blue ribbons around Granbury's town square as a show of support and thanks to Sgt. McLean and Officer Davis.

"The community is basically devastated," said Tammy Hensley. "We are kind of helpless; we don't know what to do. So when we got an opportunity to do this, we made a few phone calls, the volunteers were here."

Funds have been set up for McLean's family at:

  • Hico First National Bank
  • Community Bank of Granbury

Word of McLean's death spread quickly. Arlington police tweeted the news with the hashtags #prayforfamily and #thinblueline.

Citizens used Facebook to share their grief.

"Thank you Sgt. Lance McLean for giving your life to protect us," Pat wrote. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his law enforcement brothers and sisters."

"Hood County has some of the best," Claude added. "Everyone I have met has been really great people. Prayers to Hood County Sheriff's Office."

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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