Sergeant Investigator Adam Sowders Burleson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas End of Watch: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sergeant Investigator Adam Sowders | Burleson County Sheriff's Office, Texas427202_10151027242794067_721824856_n


Sergeant Investigator Adam Sowders

Burleson County Sheriff’s Office, Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, December 19, 2013

Biographical Info

Age: 31
Tour of Duty: 7 years
Badge Number: 904

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: December 19, 2013
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Agency Contact Information

Sheriff Dale Stroud
Burleson County Sheriff’s Office
1334 Highway 21 E
Caldwell, TX 77836
Phone: (979) 567-4343

Sergeant Investigator Adam Sowders was shot and killed as he and seven other officers attempted to serve a warrant at rural home near Somerville shortly before 6:00 am.
As the team made entry into the home they were met with gunfire and Sergeant Sowders suffered fatal gunshot wounds. One suspect was taken into custody at the scene.
Sergeant Sowders had served with the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office for seven years and had previously served with the Somerville Police Department.

Authorities were continuing to investigate the shooting death of a Burleson County deputy Thursday as a tight-knit community mourned one of its own with flags at half-mast.

Burleson County Sgt. Investigator Adam Sowders, 31, was shot and killed while serving a search warrant just before 6 a.m. Thursday at a mobile home on County Road 278 in southern Burleson County.

A man in his late 20s was taken into custody. No charges had been filed as of late Thursday, but Burleson County District Attorney Julie Renken said her office would be looking into possible capital murder charges.

No one else was injured during the incident, which took place as a team of eight deputies made entry into the home, Sheriff Dale Stroud said.

Because the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office employs nine deputies, it was not uncommon for so many of its officers to serve a search warrant, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Christine Labertew said.

Citing the ongoing investigation, which includes the Texas Rangers and the Department of Public Safety, neither the sheriff nor Renken would comment on the nature of the search warrant or the details of the shooting.

Sowders began his career at the sheriff’s office as a patrol deputy in 2006 after serving as an officer with the Somerville Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant investigator earlier this year.

"Adam was well-respected, extremely well-liked, and he’s going to leave a big hole in what we do here," Stroud said, adding that Sowders was very involved in his community and wanted to make his county a better place.

Less than 30 miles from Bryan-College Station, a black ribbon hung from the Somerville Volunteer Fire Department, where Sowders had worked since he was 18.

This was the second time in less than a year that the community of less than 2,000 residents had suffered a tragic blow. In February, Bryan Firefighter and Somerville native Ricky Mantey Jr., 31, was seriously injured in the Knights of Columbus Hall fire that killed two firefighters in Bryan.

His family owns Mantey Country/Ricky’s Catering on the corner of Texas 36 and 8th Street, just two blocks from Wine and Roses, a flower shop owned by Sowders’ mother, Ann. On Thursday, a sign on the shop window read "We are closed due to a death in the Sowders family."

Almost 12 hours after the incident just seven miles east of Somerville, a procession of law enforcement and firefighters led Sowders’ body to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A handful of close friends and colleagues gathered outside Mantey’s as lights and sirens made their way into Somerville. Holding each other, they watched as three fire trucks followed the hearse carrying Sowders’ body northwest to Caldwell. As is tradition, fellow officers and firefighters will be with Sowders’ body until he is laid to rest.

Sowders and his brothers followed in their father’s footsteps as volunteer firefighters in their hometown, where the family is a "pillar" of the community, said Sidney Beckman, secretary at Strickland Funeral Home and friend of Sowders’ mother.

"You won’t find anyone with something bad to say about [Adam]," Beckman said.

After his father’s death in June 2012, Sowders took on more responsibilities at home, said Jo Strickland, who owns the funeral home with husband and former mayor Don Strickland.

"[Ann] was very torn up," Strickland said of her visit with the family Thursday morning. "Adam was her steady person. He saw that she got home at night. He was her caretaker."

A 2001 graduate of Somerville High School, Sowders was a model student who was well-liked, his agricultural science teacher Russell Bentke said.

But his popularity went beyond his high school.

"When he was a jailer, the prisoners liked Adam the best of all because he treated prisoners and everybody the same," Beckman said.


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