A veteran Texas sheriff's deputy who was set to retire in September was shot at his Round Rock home early Monday morning and later died from his injuries, officials said, announcing that they were searching for two suspects.
Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, who was on the force for 32 years, he used his law enforcement radio to call for help shortly before 1:30 a.m., and responding officers found Hutchinson laying in the back yard of his home, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton said during a Monday news conference.
"He was my field training officer," Hamilton said."So this is near and dear to me. This guy was a big teddy bear and everybody loved him. He was a gentle bear and he taught me everything I know...I loved that guy to death."
Hamilton said "there's no suggestion" the shooting was an ambush situation, and it's more likely that Hutchinson walked in on a burglar attempting to steal from his shed. There was equipment missing from Hutchinson's shed and there had been other recent burglaries in the area, Hamilton said.
Hutchinson died at Round Rock Medical Center.
Police are searching for two suspects, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
"Please keep our Travis County Sheriff's family in your thoughts and prayers. Sad, troubling time we live in. Austin police stands with our friends," Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said on Twitter.
The block where the shooting occurred remained ringed with yellow tape and red tape surrounded Hutchison's home, more than six hours after the shooting. Authorities could be seen working in the area around the home.
Police later briefly closed portions of Interstate 35 heading into Austin as a long procession of police cars transported Hutchinson's body to the medical examiner's office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.