NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, August 12, 2016, 6:56 PM
A Texas sheriff’s deputy found dead after reporting burglars at his home actually killed himself, officials said Friday.
Travis County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, 54, was fatally shot at his Austin-area home July 25 after reporting two “prowlers” in his backyard. Yet Round Rock police revealed last week that the bullet that killed him had come from his own gun.
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton teared-up at a news conference Friday announcing that coroners had ruled the 32-year veteran of the sheriff’s office a suicide, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Investigators cited struggles with depression and financial problems as the possible reasons for the suicide.
“I can tell you two weeks before this occurred Sgt. Hutchinson was in my office talking about how excited he was for retirement and moving to a ranch, tinkering with cattle,” Hamilton said. “Two weeks later, he chose to take his life. I am wondering, should I have known that this was going to happen?”
Hamilton continued, “This one final act does not minimize his career. Hutch had some demons that we didn’t know about.”
Travis County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, 54, committed suicide in the backyard of his Round Rock, Tex., home, officials said Friday.
The fatal bullet from Hutchinson’s duty handgun traveled through the palm of one of his hands and into the left side of his head, said Williamson County Justice of the Peace Bill Gravell.
“I cannot imagine the toll that this incident has taken in the life of this law enforcement family,” Gravell said. “Suicide knows no bounds. Suicide does not discriminate. Suicide does not care about race, ethnicity, personal wealth or social stature. Not even those who wear the badge are immune from its clutches.”
Round Rock police reviewed 150 pieces of evidence, spoke with residents at 233 homes in Hutchinson’s neighborhood and investigated 117 tips, Chief Allen Banks said earlier in the week.
Projectile analysis showed the bullet was fired from Hutchinson’s gun, Banks said the day after his funeral drew hundreds of people. Hutchinson’s death touched off a hunt for suspects and a $ 50,000 reward, the Statesman reported.
Police tape cordoned off parts of the backyard of Hutchinson’s home the day he died. Round Rock police said last week that the bullet that killed him came from his own gun.
Yet the local newspaper uncovered a July 11 notice of a foreclosure sale of Hutchinson’s home. He made roughly $ 99,000 per year, and the Round Rock home’s original mortgage was for $ 170,000.
Hutchinson was set to retire in September. Sheriff Hamilton recalled his longtime colleague in another emotional statement the day of Hutchinson’s death.
“He was a gentle bear. He taught me everything I know,” Hamilton said. “He was my field training officer and I loved that guy to death.”