The death of an off-duty officer in Texas is being treated as a homicide, police said Tuesday.
Abilene Officer Don Allen was found dead Monday inside his home in Clyde. Investigators haven’t released details about the manner of death, but have described it as “clearly suspicious.”
“The circumstances behind his death indicate that the probable cause is homicide,” police Chief Stan Standridge told reporters. “Aside from that, I’m not going to comment any further. … I don’t want to say anything today that would compromise our ability to hold these people accountable.”
Texas Rangers are leading the investigation, with assistance from local police and the FBI.
Investigators haven’t yet pinpointed a motive, and are pursuing numerous leads as they try to track down suspects, Standridge said.
Allen was the only person inside the residence when found by family members, Standridge said.
The officer’s death comes days after the shooting death of a deputy in Harris County, Texas, which has sparked allegations that targeting of law enforcement officers could be on the rise.
But after Allen’s death, Standridge stressed that there was no “indication right now that random law enforcement personnel are being targeted.”
Still, he said, officers were shaken.
“The initial reaction was fear. Why was Officer Allen chosen? That speaks volumes as it relates to how vulnerable are we. … We look like we’re prepared for anything,” he said. “But the reality is, we’re just like you. We go to the same schools in this community. We attend the same churches. We eat at the same restaurants. We are just like you.”
Standridge described Allen as a “great man and great peace officer” who loved his job and always did it with a smile.
“Officer Allen was a true public servant,” City Manager Robert Hanna told reporters. “In speaking with his academy classmates, I found myself hoping for more officers like him.”
Allen’s classmates described him as a jovial soul and someone who helped support his fellow officers.
“He’s the type of servant … the type of person we want in this organization,” Hanna said.