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Suspect accused of shooting DPS Trooper dies by suicide

DeArthur Pinson Jr
Trooper Chad Walker
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Posted at 8:52 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 15:56:06-04

The suspect accused of shooting DPS Trooper Walker near Mexia Friday night has died by suicide.

The suspect accused of shooting DPS Trooper Chad Walker near Mexia Friday night, DeArthur Pinson Jr., has died by suicide, Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan confirmed to 25 News Saturday evening.

DPS said in a statement later that a 36-year-old man was found deceased "with what is suspected to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a residence on Highway 84, west of Mexia, Texas."

"The deceased was the suspect in a shooting that injured Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Walker on Friday evening," DPS said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper is in critical condition after being shot outside of Mexia.

DPS gave an update Saturday afternoon saying they were extending their perimeter of the search area for the suspect, DeArthur Pinson Jr.

25 News also confirmed that Pinson Jr.previously served in the U.S. Army. According to Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Hewitt, an Army spokesman, Pinson Jr served in the Army as Armor Crewman (19K) from January 2003 to January 2006. He deployed to Kuwait and Iraq from Oct. 2004 to Oct. 2005. He reached the rank of Specialist.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association, an organization that represents commissioned law enforcement officers in Texas, identified the Trooper as Chad Walker.

DPS later confirmed Chad Walker was the Trooper shot.

The incident happened around 8 p.m. in the area of US 84.

DPS said Trooper Walker was stopping to assist a driver on FM 2838 when the driver exited the vehicle and shot him multiple times.

A manhunt was underway Saturday with aerial searches added to find the suspect.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association Facebook post, Trooper Walker responded to a motorist assist near US Highway 84, approximately five miles west of Mexia in Limestone County.

The association said Trooper Walker was traveling southwest on FM 2848 as he came upon a disabled vehicle parked on the shoulder of the roadway and pulled up behind the vehicle.

"Before Trooper Walker could stop his patrol unit [the suspect] immediately emerged from the driver’s seat of the disabled vehicle armed with a handgun and fired multiple rounds at Trooper Walker through the patrol unit’s windshield," the Officers Association said.

Authorities say the Trooper was transported to Baylor Scott & White in Waco in critical condition.

The Officers Association said Trooper Walker sustained a gunshot wound to his head and abdomen.

The suspect was at large. DPS identified the suspect as 36-year-old DeArthur Pinson Jr.

DPS issued a Blue Alert for Pinson Saturday morning. He was last seen around 5:50 p.m. on Friday, March 26 in the area of Highway 84 and FM 480 in Coolidge, Texas.

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He was last seen wearing glasses, a black hoodie, and shorts with a stripe down the side. He is 220 pounds with facial hair, according to a public safety alert.

He was considered armed and dangerous. The Blue Alert was canceled Saturday night.

Public records show Pinson has spent time in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for aggravated robbery. He was sentenced at the time to the maximum of 10 years, according to online records.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association said Trooper Walker and his wife have a 15-year-old son, twin seven-year-old daughters, and a two-month-old daughter.

"Please keep Trooper Walker and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time," Todd H. Snyder, the regional director for the association said.

According to records, Trooper Walker has 17 years of law enforcement experience.

Walker, who is from Groesbeck, joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2015.

Before that, Walker was an officer for the Limestone County Sheriff's Office, the Groesbeck Police Department, the Athens Police Department, and the Henderson County Sheriff's Office.

Walker attended the Navarro College Police Academy in 2003, according to records.

Wortham High School posted a photo of Trooper Chad Walker saying he is a "true friend of Wortham ISD and is considered to be one of “our Troopers."

The "Texas Fallen Officer Foundation" said they will be assisting his family financially.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick posted on Twitter that he and his wife were praying for Trooper Walker.

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