Girl’s father: Shooter intended to kill family

July 3, 2013

NONE

The Joshua man who killed Hood County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Lance McLean had a similar plan in mind for the family of the underage girl he was accused of sexually assaulting, according to the girl’s father.

The girl’s 46-year-old father told the Hood County News on Sunday that Ricky Don McCommas unexpectedly showed up at his home in Oak Trail Shores Friday morning. After asking if he could speak to his daughter – now 17, almost a year after the alleged incident – about dropping the Johnson County sexual assault charge, McCommas allegedly shot McLean, a patrol sergeant, instructor and SWAT team member.

McCommas had been due for a court hearing on the felony charge that same morning in Cleburne, and the trial was set to begin in August, according to the girl’s father. The girl’s father said that after McCommas shot McLean, McCommas opened fire on him and five members of his family who were outside under the carport in the 2600 block of Edgecliff Court.

“He came out there with the intention of killing us,” the father said. “I think he had the intention to shoot me, then take the assault rifle out and finish off my family. I had just woke up. I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘I just wanted to ask if she would drop the charges.’ But I know he did do the offense.”

McCommas used what Granbury Police Chief Mitch Galvan described as an assault-style rifle during a shootout in downtown Granbury. McCommas was killed by officers who had arrived on the scene next to City Hall, where McCommas fled.

At the residence, McCommas had continued to insist that he be allowed to speak to the alleged victim. The father placed a call to the girl at a nearby friend’s house so she could come home and explain to him in person that she would not drop the charges.

“He told my daughter, ‘You ruined my life,’ and I said, ‘No, you ruined your life.’”

The father said that McLean arrived shortly after that. The deputy got out of his Chevrolet Tahoe and motioned for McCommas to walk away from the carport so he could speak privately with the family about the details of the criminal trespassing complaint call, which came in at 10:47 a.m.

“He said (to McCommas), ‘I want you to go over there.’”

That’s when McLean noticed that McCommas was pulling his gun and preparing to open fire. McLean tried to pull his own firearm out of his holster, but it appeared that he was unable to get it out, according to the girl’s father. McLean then appeared to be trying to take cover nearby, but was shot by McCommas in the back of the head just as he turned away, the father said.

The father said that he would gladly have spent time in jail if he could have just shot McCommas to defend his family before McLean arrived.

The alleged sexual assault stemmed from an incident last July at the home of McCommas. The two sisters had been invited to stay there, and the older one told authorities she awoke to find him sexually assaulting her after both girls had been given K2 and alcohol. Their father said that McCommas had previously given alcohol to the girls, but had regained his trust after saying it would never happen again.

He explained that McCommas’ wife is his ex-wife’s sister. But he is a blood relative of the younger sister of the alleged victim, the father said. The names are being withheld to protect the privacy of the victim.

The girl’s father said that it was a miracle no one else was seriously injured, and pointed out several bullet holes in the front of his home.

He said his daughter’s 17-year-old boyfriend sustained a relatively minor chest injury from shrapnel after a bullet from the handgun McCommas was firing ricocheted. The boy was flown to a Fort Worth hospital, where he was treated and released.

McLean, 38, of Hico, was pronounced dead just before noon on Saturday at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

“His family is in our prayers, and we are so thankful he tried to protect our family,” the father said. “He is a true hero. We have nothing but the highest respect for the sheriff and the police department. I want (McLean’s) family to know how sorry we are.”

When the father first saw McCommas, he shook his hand thinking he was someone he didn’t know, inquiring about a house for rent next door. He said he hadn’t seen McCommas in about a year and didn’t know him that well in the first place, so initially he didn’t recognize him. McCommas was wearing a camouflage vest, as always, he said.

He estimated that McCommas fired at least six or seven rounds from what he thinks was no smaller than a .40-caliber gun while his family members tried to take cover the best they could behind a car and some narrow carport poles. The father said he darted into their yard to draw the gunfire away from his family.

“I had to divert the gunfire,” he said. “I had five kids out here. He was trying to shoot her (his daughter); he was trying to shoot me. I yelled, ‘Don’t shoot my kids.’ ”

The father said he ran inside the house to get his own handgun as soon as he heard the sound of what he thought was the clip from the gunman’s weapon hit the pavement near the front of their driveway.

“I came out blasting,” the father said. “Someone told me I hit him four times.”

The father said he realized that McCommas was wearing protective body armor.

“If he had shot me, I totally believe we’d have had a mass murder here,” he said. “I thank God all my kids are alive. We’re terribly sorry about the officer. This is going to take a long time to get over, even for me.”

By the time the girl’s father opened fire, McCommas was getting into his Chevrolet van, he said. From there, McCommas drove to downtown Granbury where he was killed in a shootout with officers from multiple agencies who had responded to the dreaded call of “Officer down.”

“He was closing the door (to his van) as I (fired) my first shot,” the father said, noting that two of his bullets broke side windows on the van, narrowly missing McCommas. “There were several holes right behind the driver’s seat.”

The girl’s father, who said he lost his 11-month-old boy to a drowning in 1986 in Florida, said his daughter has been having nightmares about McCommas.

“She deals with it the best she can,” he said. “Now, the kids have seen a cop killed 15 feet away from them.”

‘MENTAL’

“I know Ricky. He’s mental when it comes to weapons. He never goes anywhere without a weapon,” the father said, adding that McCommas had a concealed gun permit and had been earning money as a firearm dealer after he was let go from his job as a security officer in Fort Worth.

Lieutenant Tim Jones of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said that McCommas did have a license to be a firearms dealer – and that right would not have been revoked unless he was convicted of a felony.

Jones said that the office of Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford obtained a search warrant for the property where McCommas lived with his wife in Joshua. The search, which included not only Johnson County deputies but also Texas Rangers and the ATF, resulted in “about 26 or 27” firearms being confiscated. He said that the items are in Johnson County’s custody, with a couple of exceptions. He said that no explosives were found.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 254

Share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Category: Page One News Archived