Homeowner Indicted For Fatal Shooting Of Texas Officer

Unitex Oil and Gas founder David Wilson has been indicted for manslaughter in the death of Officer Nathan Heidelberg.

Midland, TX – The homeowner who fatally shot Midland Police Officer Nathan “Hayden” Heidelberg as he was responding to a burglary alarm at the man’s residence has been indicted for manslaughter.

The property owner, Unitex Oil and Gas founder David Wilson, said he shot the 28-year-old officer because he mistakenly believed he was an intruder, the Sun Herald reported.

“David Wilson believed that his family was experiencing a home invasion and only fired his weapon to protect his family,” his attorney, Brian Carney, claimed at the time. “We would like to express our deepest sympathies to Officer Heidelberg’s family and the Midland Police Department for the events that led to his death.”

But Midland police said that Officer Heidelberg, a five-year veteran-of-the-force, announced himself loudly from outside Wilson’s front door just prior to the shooting.

The fatal incident took place at approximately 1:16 a.m. on March 5, when Officer Heidelberg and Officer Victoria Allee responded to the 3300-block of Eagle Cove for a report of a burglary alarm, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported.

At the time, Officer Allee was working as a probationary officer, and Officer Heidelberg was her field training officer, KOSA reported.

When they arrived, the officers circled the outside of the residence on foot, and found nothing unusual, according to court documents.

That’s when Officer Heidelberg realized the front door of the home was not secured, and notified dispatch, KOSA reported.

Two other officers arrived at the scene just in time to “hear [Officer] Heidelberg announce Midland Police Department,” court documents read, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Suddenly, a gunshot rang out.

One officer asked the other three if they were alright, and everyone responded that they were, KOSA reported.

He said he then heard a noise, and saw Officer Heidelberg lying face down on the ground.

Realizing that Officer Heidelberg had been shot just above his vest, the assisting officer attempted to deliver life-saving care before the wounded officer was rushed to Midland Memorial Hospital.

Officer Heidelberg succumbed to his gunshot wound at approximately 2:20 a.m.

Wilson later told police that he thought someone was breaking into his home, so he fired in the direction of Officer Heidelberg’s illuminated flashlight.

Midland Police Department (MPD) Deputy Chief Michael Hedrick said that the sudden loss of Officer Heidelberg has been a “nightmare” for his department, KOSA reported.

“Words can’t describe how painful it is to lose a friend, lose a colleague, lose one of your subordinates, one of your employees,”, Chief Hedrick said. “You train with these guys, you eat with these guys, you pray with these guys, you know their families. We’re in mourning.”

“It’s very painful. It shocks it right through the bone through the core of our system,” he added.

Officer Heidelberg was a five-year veteran of the MPD.

“[He] represented the best in all of us,” Midland Police Chief Seth Herman said in a Facebook post. “He was courageous, selfless, ethical and professional.”

“Nathan treated others with respect, regardless of their demeanor or actions. He was a tireless public servant who devoted every ounce of energy to this profession, the citizens and his fellow officers,” Chief Herman continued. “We have lost not only a great officer, but a loving brother and the most positive example of what we should all aspire to be. I wish I was more like Nathan."

Wilson faces between two and 20 years in prison if he is convicted of manslaughter, Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf told KOSA.

Comments (16)
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Stanracer
Stanracer

No doubt some hug-a-thug, bleeding heart, police hating , liberal judge will let this "good guy with a gun" walk.

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

This brings back painful memories of the death of an officer on my department who was killed in similar circumstances. A man called in for an alleged prowler around his house and as the officer was checking to see if the basement door was secure, the man recklessly fired a shotgun blast through the door, killing the officer.

One of the four basic rules of firearms safety is "Identify your target and what is beyond your target." Failure to do so is to recklessly endanger human life and demands sanction. In the case of our officer the homeowner, ironically named "John Law", was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. That would be a reasonable resolution of this incident, too.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

My prediction: if there is no recording of the alleged "announcement" allegedly made prior to entry, then Wilson will walk. I am always pretty skeptical when police claim that they announced loudly, because I have seen too many videos where the announced softly, or not al all. Officer Heidelberg may well have been a victim of poor announcing skills, which, if true, is sad, but, ultimately his own fault.

Chief Deputy
Chief Deputy

To all, these incidents are to involved to give all the details, so you could make your judgement, and still under investigation. If it's so that important then apply for open records request and see if you get anymore than this website allows.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

When you live in an 8,000 sq ft estate it's possible he never heard the officer. Hell in my 4,500 sq ft home I have a hard time hearing the doorbell.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

The homeowner is married to hos sweetheart from High School and they have 3 children. The homeowner was not a thug. He is a known Oil Rig Business Owner and known for charitable donations.

tfort
tfort

This is Texas, he will be acquitted if it even gets that far.

Paul Kersey Jr.
Paul Kersey Jr.

One more case illustrating the fallacy of home alarm systems that directly alert police. You need a system that dispatches a private alarm respondent, that way when you panic shoot them dead you catch no charges. It's just , "dumb rent-a-cop" and on with your day! Make no mistake, no matter what the circumstance, if you shoot a cop investigating a home alarm, you are going to jail! Homeowner sounds like a douche but it is convenient that THREE cops heard the deceased announce before being shot. Wow, what are the odds?