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Heroes Down: Concho County Sgt. Stephen Jones And Deputy Samuel Leonard Murdered By Gunman

Eden, TX – Concho County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Sergeant Stephen Jones and Deputy Samuel Leonard were murdered in the line of duty on Monday night while responding to a complaint about a dog.

The incident began after Sgt. Jones, 34, and Deputy Leonard, 26, responded to the 100-block of Bryan Street for a dog complaint at approximately 8:20 p.m. on May 10, Heavy reported.

An Eden city employee also accompanied them to the call for service.

Police have provided few details regarding the shooting since it unfolded on Monday night.

Witnesses told San Angelo LIVE that they saw police pull a vehicle over and that they heard officers tell the driver to “roll your window down and then put up your hands.”

The suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Jeffrey Nicholas, led police on a brief pursuit before bailing out of the vehicle and running into his nearby residence, Concho Valley Homepage reported.

He then barricaded himself inside.

Witnesses said they heard approximately 10 gunshots during the ordeal, San Angelo LIVE reported.

Sgt. Jones and Deputy Leonard were fatally wounded during the incident.

One civilian was injured during the exchange of gunfire and was subsequently rushed to Shannon Medical Center, Concho Valley Homepage reported.

The civilian suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and is in unknown condition, according to the Daily Beast.

The wounded victim is the City of Eden employee, KTXS reported.

Nicholas ultimately surrendered after a 30-minute standoff and was taken into custody.

He was booked into the Tom Green County Jail on two counts of capital murder of a police officer, Concho Valley Homepage reported.

His bond was set at $4 million.

“Our hearts go out to the family & friends of 2 Concho County Sheriff’s deputies who were killed in the line of duty last night,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

“This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while protecting our communities,” Abbott said.

The governor said he will do whatever is needed to support the Concho County community and to bring “the perpetrator of this heinous crime to justice,” Concho Valley Homepage reported.

“Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in prayer for the families, friends, and colleagues of these brave Sheriff’s deputies,” Abbott said.

The CCSO is comprised of six full-time deputies and several reserve deputies, in addition to the sheriff, the dispatch center, and support staff, according to the agency’s Facebook page.

Sgt. Jones joined the CCSO in 2013, and also taught the department’s license-to-carry class, Heavy reported.

In addition to his work with the CCSO, he had also been elected as a Concho County Constable.

Sgt. Jones leaves behind his wife and five children, Heavy reported.

He would have celebrated his 16th wedding anniversary later this month.

Deputy Leonard’s brother, Zach Leonard, said his heart shattered when he learned his brother had been murdered.

“Sam was the type of person who looked out for the innocent from the time he was a little kid, once getting into a fist fight on the playground with older, bigger kids because they were picking on his twin brother,” Zach wrote in a Facebook post. “I wasn’t surprised when he told me he was going into law enforcement, it was what he was born to do.”

Deputy Leonard leaves behind his wife and young daughter, Heavy reported.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Concho County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Stephen Jones and Deputy Samuel Leonard, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Sergeant Stephen Jones and Deputy Samuel Leonard, your lives mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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