Police: Airman shot himself after being shot by officer

Authorities said the airman was pronounced dead at the scene. (Source: Gray News)

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — An airman from an Air Force base in Texas shot himself and died after a police officer shot him during an armed confrontation, police said.

Abilene police officers found the airman at a home on the city’s south side early Saturday after officials at nearby Dyess Air Force Base reported that the man was harming himself, Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said at a morning news conference.

After officers knocked on the door, the airman came out of the house with a rifle and handgun, Standridge said. The airman repeatedly pointed the rifle at the officers, who’d formed a perimeter around the home, and was shot by a SWAT supervisor as he appeared to take aim at police. The airman then crawled into some bushes where he shot himself, the chief said. The airman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Standridge did not name the officer or airman, who he said may have been motivated by the fallout from an October car crash. The airman had “despondency issues” because he was being investigated for drunk driving, the chief said.

The Texas Rangers and the Air Force base’s special investigations unit are looking into the shooting. Police in Abilene, a city of some 123,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) west of Dallas, will also conduct a criminal and internal affairs investigation.

The SWAT officer has been placed on leave.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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