Constable Brian Bachmann
Brazos County Constable’s Office – Precinct 1, Texas
End of Watch: Monday, August 13, 2012
Tour of Duty: 20 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: August 13, 2012
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and killed
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Christopher Kirk
Brazos County Constable’s Office – Precinct 1
c/o Brazos County Sheriff
1700 Highway 21 West
Bryan, TX 77803
Phone: (979) 361-4900
Constable Brian Bachmann was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice at a home on the 200 block of Fidelity Street in College Station at approximately 12:15 pm.
After shooting Constable Bachmann, the subject in the home began shooting out of the home, killing one civilian and wounding another. A police officer from the College Station Police Department was also shot and wounded, and two others were injured, after responding to the initial officer down call. The responding units were engaged in a prolonged shootout in which the subject was also shot and killed.
Constable Bachmann had served as the elected constable of Brazos County Precinct 1 for 20 months and had served in law enforcement for a total of 20 years. He had previously served with the Hempstead Police Department and Brazos County Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife and children.
Many associated with the Brazos County Courthouse and local law enforcement figured Brian Bachmann would one day run for sheriff and win.
But that was a campaign for down the road. The constable still was in his first term — not quite yet halfway through the four years — and, according to friends and colleagues, he was loving every minute of serving the fastest-growing precinct in Brazos County.
When word spread that the 41-year-old died from gunshot wounds inflicted by a College Station renter during an eviction process, it seemed implausible. Men and women in uniforms — police, firefighters, medics — wept openly. A judge stopped jury selection and sent the panel home.
Residents whom he had helped — whether it was changing a flat tire, rescuing a child from a locked car in the heat of the day, steering a drug addict to treatment or even finding “clean, productive” activities for kids to do in Precinct 1 — these recipients immediately asked others what they could do to help Bachmann’s wife, Donna, and their two kids.
The former sheriff’s deputy survived a painfully close call early in his 20-year law enforcement career but never thought about taking off the badge, friends said.
He was elected to serve as Precinct 1 constable in 2010, at which point he resigned from the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office after more than 15 years.
Police said Thomas Alton Caffall III killed Bachmann and a stranger passing through the neighborhood, while also injuring four, including three College Station police officers. Caffall, a 35-year-old being evicted from a home on Fidelity Street near the Texas A&M campus, died in a gunbattle with College Station police. A 43-year-old College Station man passing through the neighborhood was shot and killed. A 51-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds and remained hospitalized in critical condition late Monday.
Also wounded: An officer was shot in the leg and underwent surgery; he’s expected to recover. Two other College Station officers were injured by shrapnel but were not hospitalized.
Authorities at the scene, many who knew Bachmann, were forced to cope with the fact their friend was dead and they had to secure the neighborhood. They later learned Bachmann was performing a common task — delivering eviction papers to an uncooperative renter.
Brazos County District Clerk Marc Hamlin, a close friend of Bachmann’s, said the constable had lunch with a deputy constable at C&J Barbecue in Bryan before he made the trip across Aggieland to visit Caffall.
After asking the deputy what his plans were, Bachmann insisted he handle the eviction documents himself and headed to the home on Fidelity Street after their meal, Hamlin said.
“Brian wasn’t supposed to be at that door that day,” Hamlin said. “God wanted him to come home.”
It seemed like most involved in law enforcement had a story to tell about the popular, always-friendly officer.
Even over the phone, it was apparent that longtime Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk was grieving as he spoke about his former employee and close friend.
Kirk said he grew to know Bachmann when he was elected sheriff in 1997, three years after Bachmann began working at the department.
Bachmann started his career in law enforcement as a peace officer in Hempstead and worked in nearly every office within the sheriff’s department during his time as a deputy.
From 1993 to 1998, he worked as a Brazos Valley Narcotics Task Force investigator. While on duty in 2001, he was in a major car accident on Texas 6 that left him seriously injured.
During his time as Bachmann’s boss, Kirk said, he watched him grow into a “fine deputy.” And when Bachmann decided to run for constable in 2010, Kirk was in full support.
“I was so proud of him when he ran that campaign. He always made the right choices to stick to what he believed in,” he said. “Honestly, we had conversations, and I was hoping he would replace me when I left office.”
Representatives from every local law enforcement department came together during a prayer service at Christ United Methodist Church in College Station to remember Bachmann and the other victims.
“We are all looking for explanations, and I don’t know that we’re going to find a true explanation,” Kirk said. “The fact is, Brian was doing his job and doing it to the best of his ability. He was proud to be doing it.
“The first chance I had to meet Donna after she learned the news she said, ‘He was doing what he wanted to do, what he loved to do,’ and that is so true,” Kirk said.
Many in the law enforcement community reiterated Kirk’s comments about Bachmann’s dedication to doing the right and responsible thing in his personal and professional life.
“The thing that comes to mind right away is he had a sense of what was right,” said Brazos County Jail Administrator Wayne Dicky. “He was — I don’t know the right words to say — he was just a good man.”
Brazos County District Attorney Bill Turner worked with Bachmann on two fronts: work and church.
“Brian Bachmann loved his work. He was a special, rare kind of public servant who will be impossible to replace,” said Turner, who once served with him as an usher at Christ United Methodist Church. “He was everything you look for in a leader: unselfish, energetic, professional, helpful, smart, passionate about his work. He loved his family and you knew it because he talked about it. He was an all-around good, good man.”
Throughout his career, Bachmann earned an array of accolades, including being voted Officer of the Year in 2004 by members of the sheriff’s department.
“Deputy Bachmann is someone that gives 110 percent to the job at hand,” Kirk said during an interview at the time Bachmann was named Officer of the Year. “He is totally committed to the efforts of the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office.”
The attributes Kirk listed back then — Bachmann’s passion for his work, commitment to doing what was right, his willingness to accept challenges and his strong leadership — remained with him throughout his career.
“The thing about Brian was he truly had a heart for service,” Kirk said. “He not only showed it in his work and law enforcement, but in his community.”