Sheriff: Texas constable mistakenly killed by deputy

Sheriff's police tape. (WDIV)

MISSOURI CITY, Texas – A Texas deputy mistakenly shot and killed another responding officer early Friday while searching a home after a neighbor reported a suspicious person in the area, authorities said.

The shooting happened in the Sienna Plantation subdivision in Missouri City, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of Houston.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said a neighbor called police to report that someone suspicious was running in the area. County sheriff’s deputies and Deputy Constable Caleb Rule responded, he said.

Nehls said the 911 caller reported seeing the suspect through a security camera running into a house that the caller knew was vacant. He said that at some point, a light was seen on in the normally vacant house.

Three deputies and the constable arrived at the scene within a minute of each other, Nehls said. Though they are from different agencies, the officers operate on the same radio channel.

The deputies entered the home through an unlocked door, Nehls said. While searching it, a deputy fatally shot Rule, mistaking him for an intruder, Nehls said.

Rule is survived by his wife and their four teenage children, Nehls said. The eldest, an 18-year-old daughter, is graduating high school Friday.

“What else do you say? You’ve got to pray for everybody — just a tragic, tragic scene here,” the sheriff said early Friday.

Before joining the constable's office, Rule worked at the Missouri City Police Department, authorities said.

The deputy, whose name has not been released, has more than 20 years of experience, Nehls said. The deputy was placed on leave, as per department policy in deputy-involved shootings, and an investigation into the shooting was underway.