Panola County Sheriff’s Office identifies deputy fatally shot during traffic stop
PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — Authorities with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed that a deputy was fatally shot during a traffic stop Tuesday morning.
The Sheriff’s Office has since identified him as Deputy Chris Dickerson.
“We have heavy hearts but a big community,” Sheriff Kevin Lake said during a news conference. “We just ask you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”
Chief Deputy John Depresca said he had been with the Sheriff’s Office for eight years.
The fatal shooting happened about 1:57 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, on Farm-to-Market Road 10 near Farm-to-Market Road 2260, according to the Sheriff’s Office and Staff Sgt. Jean Dark, of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
That’s at Gary City, a town about seven miles south of Carthage, Texas.
“Preliminary information indicates the deputy stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe on the northbound side of FM-10 when the driver suddenly exited the vehicle and fired a weapon numerous times at the deputy,” says a statement from Sheriff Kevin Lake.
Depresca said Dickerson was shot six times with a semi-automatic rifle.
Dickerson returned fire.
Sources say three shots struck Newson in the leg.
Then the suspect fled.
Two minutes after the traffic stop, a civilian said on the radio that a deputy was laying on the ground.
Residents who heard the gunshots found the injured deputy and called for help, the Sheriff’s Office reports.
“They found the deputy in front of his patrol unit. And they were able to render aid and to notify authorities,” Lake said.
Dickerson was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
Meantime, the man accused of killing Dickerson — Gregory W. Newson — sped back to Shreveport.
Shreveport police spotted the suspected cop killer on eastbound Interstate 20.
Newson was taken into custody near Shreveport Regional Airport in west Shreveport.
He was arrested at 3:04 a.m. Tuesday and booked into the Shreveport City Jail at 6:25 a.m. the same day as a fugitive from Texas and on a charge of flight in vehicle, booking records show.
Newson also was taken to Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport for treatment.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest in Texas on a charge of capital murder of a peace officer, the Sheriff’s Office states.
Newson will be extradited to Texas, where he could face the death penalty if convicted as charged.
Court records show that Newson has a criminal record. Following are some of the more recent entries:
1992: He was sentenced to hard after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
1995: Newson was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison at hard labor after pleading guilty to an armed robbery charge
2012: He served six months on probation after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued this statement:
“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.”
Dickerson’s death is being investigated by Texas Rangers.
This is a developing story. Stay with KSLA News 12 for updates.
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