Editor: Shannon Cottongame
The Hill County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting death of a 31-year-old man at Lake Whitney State Park that occurred Wednesday night, December 22.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call at approximately 11:23 p.m. regarding a shooting at a campsite. Units from Whitney Police Department, Whitney Fire Department and deputies from the Hill County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched along with an ambulance from CareFlite. At 11:25 p.m., three patrol deputies and a Whitney officer arrived on scene and took over CPR that was already in progress.
The sheriff’s office reported that the man had been staying in a recreational vehicle with his spouse and two children at the park, and witnesses reported that he had been drinking and arguing loudly with his spouse, concerning other campers.
Reports indicated that the man left in a vehicle, and a 42-year-old man who was camping with his family nearby went to the location to check on the man’s spouse before returning to his own campsite.
When the husband returned, the couple reportedly began arguing again, escalating to a physical assault in which the man pushed his spouse to the ground.
According to authorities, the nearby camper who had previously checked on the man’s wife witnessed the physical assault and verbally confronted the husband.
When the husband charged at the camper, the camper reportedly drew a sidearm and shot him several times. The sheriff’s office reported that the camper then told his family to call 9-1-1 while he began performing CPR on the man.
The man who was shot was transported by CareFlite ground ambulance to Hill Regional Hospital, where he would later be pronounced deceased.
Hill County Sheriff’s Office investigators were called to the scene, and the sheriff’s office requested that the Texas Rangers assist with the investigation and processing of the crime scene.
In addition to the Texas Rangers, three Texas State Park Police units also responded to assist with the investigation.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, all witnesses were interviewed, and the camper who shot the decedent was also brought to the sheriff’s office and interviewed.
“At this point, it is the intent of the Hill County Sheriff’s Office to do a grand jury referral regarding this homicide investigation,” the press release stated.
Due to the ongoing investigation, the sheriff’s office is not releasing the name of the decedent or the person who shot him.