Witness: Man angered by Texas MPs in court killed them

EDEN, Texas (AP) – A West Texas man accused of shooting and killing two sheriff’s deputies was angry that they were in his yard trying to catch a dog and he told them said he would open fire if they didn’t go, a witness said.

“They walked up to him, rushed him, and he pulled out a gun, and shots were fired,” David Hutchings told the

The shooting took place Monday night in Eden, a town of about 1,300 residents about 340 kilometers southwest of Dallas. Officials say Concho County MPs Stephen Jones and Samuel Leonard were killed and town worker Ronnie Winans was injured.

The DPS said Wednesday that Nicholas opened fire on Jones and Leonard after “making contact” with him while responding to a dog complaint.

Officials have said little about what happened before the shooting, which is currently under investigation by the Texas Rangers. Jeffrey Nicholas, 28, is jailed in nearby Tom Green County detention center on two counts of capital murder of a peace officer.

Hutchings, a city worker who helps with animal control, told the newspaper officers were helping city workers retrieve two dogs that had bitten someone earlier in the day.

The deputies had already caught one of the dogs and the other ran into Nicholas’ yard. Hutchings said Nicholas did not own either of the two animals.

Nicholas told MPs they couldn’t enter his yard to retrieve the dog, then they would have to “leave his property” and he “had his civil rights,” Hutchings said.

He said Nicholas told MPs he would shoot them and then opened fire.

Hutchins said Winans, who is his boss, was shot in the stomach when a bullet went through the door of a city pickup truck. DPS said on Wednesday that Winans was in stable condition.

Leonard’s funeral is scheduled for Monday, Jones’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.

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