Sour Lake, TX – The Sour Lake police officer who was viciously beaten in the line of duty has slipped into a coma, according to his daughter.
Doctors placed Sour Lake Police Officer William McKeon in an “induced coma” immediately after the May 28 attack, but he was able to make slight nonverbal communications as the week went on, according to a series of social media posts made by his daughter, Layna Burns.
“Today, our dad moved his arms and he responded to mom’s voice,” Burns wrote on Saturday. “We had a very positive start to our day. Right now we are in a waiting pattern. Praying with fervency for him to open his eyes.”
But on Monday, Officer McKeon’s condition worsened.
“Doctors came in and told us that our dad is in a coma,” Burns wrote. “We don’t know how to do this on our own. We can’t. We need supernatural prayer for our dad, we need supernatural peace in the interim.”
Burns said that doctors told the family that Officer McKeon will likely remain in a coma for an extended period.
“At minimum we are looking for him to wake up in 3 weeks and maximum 3 months, and then he will need long term care for rehabilitation,” she said.
A fundraising account established to help Officer McKeon in the wake of the attack has raised over $1,600.
The vicious assault on the 59-year-old officer occurred just after 8:30 p.m. on May 27, after Officer McKeon responded to a report of a man loitering at the Valero gas station near Highway 326 and Highway 105, KFDM reported.
The suspect, later identified as 45-year-old Bradley Joseph Pruitt, had refused to leave the store, and was holding a sign that read “help me,” according to KBMT.
When Officer McKeon arrived at the scene, he was attacked and violently beaten by Pruitt, who then fled the area in Officer McKeon’s patrol vehicle, Hardin County Sheriff Mark Davis told KFDM.
Officer McKeon, a four-year veteran-of-the-force, suffered “massive head trauma” and facial fractures during the assault, according to Sheriff Davis.
He was airlifted to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, where he is being treated in the intensive care unit, Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson said, according to KBMT.
On Friday, Officer McKeon underwent surgery to repair facial fractures and wire his jaw shut, and he was responsive to doctors on Sunday evening, Sour Lake Police Chief Aaron Burleson told KBMT.
A massive, multi-agency manhunt was launched to locate the attacker, who police said was believed to be armed, according to KBMT.
The search of the heavily wooded area also included multiple helicopters and K9 units, KDFM reported.
Investigators located Officer McKeon’s abandoned patrol vehicle about seven miles south of Kountze on the shoulder of Texas 326, according to KBMT.
The suspect ditched the patrol car, which had a flat tire, and took off on foot, KBMT reported.
Pruitt was apprehended by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers at approximately 6:45 a.m. on May 28, not far from where he abandoned Officer McKeon’s patrol vehicle, according to WOAI.
He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly grabbing at Officer McKeon’s duty weapon during the brawl and threatening to harm those in and around the business.
He was also charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.
Pruitt is also being held on a valid warrant out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, for failing to appear on a possession of a firearm or destructive device offense, Hardin County District Attorney David Sheffield said.