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Home Town Not Specified
Last Address Baytown Tx
Date of Passing Jul 14, 2009
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity Chambers County deputy killed, gunman found dead
By HOUSTON CHRONICLE
July 13, 2009
Posted: July 13, 2009, 12:25 PM CDT Last updated: July 13, 2009, 9:46 PM CDT
A former police officer was found dead after a nine-hour standoff at a rural Baytown mobile home Monday, where a Chambers County sheriff's deputy was shot to death while investigating a report of someone opening fire on a utilities worker shutting off water to the residence.
The slain deputy, Shane Thomas Detwiler, 31, of Baytown - a married father of three young children - is the second lawman to die in the line of duty in the Chambers County Sheriff's Office's 104-year history. He had just left his job as a Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden two months ago and was a decorated military veteran, colleagues said.
A former reserve police officer believed to have killed Detwiler was found dead inside the mobile home Monday night, but authorities aren't sure if he killed himself or was hit by police gunfire, saying they will wait for autopsy results. The gunman's wife, who is accused of shooting at and missing the utility worker, is in custody.
Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck identified the gunman as 37-year-old Gilbert Gill Ortez Jr. Ortez's common-law wife, Pamela Leggett-Ortez, 29, is charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, Lieck said. Other charges are pending, she said.
Bomb squad officers were continuing to sweep the couple's mobile home for explosive devices late Monday. Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said devices that could be smoke bombs or pipe bombs had already been found at the residence.
Authorities described a deadly gun battle at the Tower Terrace mobile home community, near Houston Raceway Park, which began when a meter reader for a municipal utility district tried to shut off the water at the Ortez trailer home in the 2100 block of West Osage.
"There was a lot of gunfire exchanged," Lieck said Monday night. "It's a miracle not more men were lost. We came close to losing two more."
Ortez, described by officials as a former Kenefick Police Department reserve officer, collected weapons and had previously shown off explosives, said one neighbor Randy Young, who lived two doors down from him.
The violence began some time after 9:30 a.m. when the meter reader dodged gunfire and escaped injury, said Baytown spokeswoman Patti Jett, reporting on behalf of the Chambers County Sheriff's Office.
Leggett-Ortez, who is accused of firing the shots at the meter reader, was arrested when she came outside on the front porch carrying a gun.
Detwiler, clad in body armor, and Texas Department of Public Service Trooper Kevin Kelley entered the front door and had gotten to the back bedroom when the gunfire erupted again, Lieck said.
Ortez "said nothing" before firing a volley of shots, Lieck said. Kelley fired back, she said.
While the trooper returned fire and retreated, he dragged the mortally wounded Detwiler through the mobile home with him, trying to reach safety, she said.
The standoff ended around 7:30 p.m. after Ortez was found dead in a back bedroom inside the residence. Earlier in the day, SWAT officers used a robot to attempt telephone contact with him, then shot tear gas and bean bags into the trailer home.
Ortez is a former police officer from Kenefick, a town of about 660 in Liberty County, officials said. He worked there as an unpaid reserve officer from May 1999 until May 2002, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards records. He became a licensed peace officer in 1995.
His peace officer's license had not been suspended or revoked, TCLEOSE records show.
Personnel records show the Ortez stopped for working for the Kenefick Police Department to seek another job. No disciplinary action was found in the former officer's personnel file, Kenefick city officials said.
Ortez has been arrested twice for unlawfully carrying a weapon - once by Baytown police in 1989 and again in Chambers County in 1992, public records show. The first offense resulted in deferred adjudication, while the second arrest resulted in a conviction and two years' probation.
Ortez also had a history of assault and family violence, Lieck said.
Detwiler became a Texas game warden in 2003 and was assigned to Chambers County for six years until his resignation on May 20, records show. He began working for the Chambers County Sheriff's Office on May 21.
Numerous police cars were parked outside Detwiler's Baytown home Monday, where the fallen deputy lived with his wife of 13 years. His family declined to comment.
Detwiler's former colleagues at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department mourned his death, noting he had been honored for a serving year-long tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 as a counter intelligence special agent for the 321st Military Intelligence Battalion. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal for his military service, they said.
His work overseas included recruiting and exploiting intelligence sources, tactical questioning of Iraqis during raids and conducting searches to determine target identities, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said
His team was responsible for identifying key insurgent group leaders, financiers, Iraqi government supporters, foreign government supporters, weapon caches, improved explosive devices and the manufacturing facilities of such devices, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission's formal recognition of his military service.
The Texas Rangers will take over the investigation of the shootout.
By CINDY HORSWELL, PEGGY O'HARE and DALE LEZON
Other Comments: SHANE DETWILER--SOLDIER, LAWMAN
The United States House of Representative
Jul 16, 2009
SHANE DETWILER--SOLDIER, LAWMAN -- (House of Representatives - July 16, 2009)
Chair: Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX2]: Mr. Speaker, a Texas lawman has been killed in the line of duty. He was from Baytown, Texas. Shane Thomas Detwiler was a sheriff's deputy in Chambers County and a remarkable family man. He was just 31 years of age.
Shane was killed Monday of this week while investigating another shooting at an area mobile home park. A meter reader reported shots were fired at her when she went to shut off the water service. Shane was shot and killed when he responded to the call at this mobile home. He was gunned down upon entering the mobile home. After a long standoff, the shooter, Gilbert Ortez, Jr., shot and killed himself. Over 100 explosives were later found in his residence.
Shane's wife, Trish Detwiler, said her husband especially loved spending time with their three kids--sons Audie and Aiden and their daughter Abigail. Trish is an English teacher at Barbers Hill High School. In fact, today some of her students who belong to the Future Farmers of America, the FAA, happened to be in town and came by and visited me.
Trish said Shane would get up late at night with the children and make dinner for the whole family every night.
Trish, along with Shane's parents, Tom Detwiler and Cheryl Railsback, said Shane had a sense of adventure and eagerness to try new things. He was a certified scuba diver and also he was about to tackle spearfishing.
Shane wasn't born in Texas, but he got there as fast as he could. Shane was born in Ohio in 1977, and moved to Texas when he was four years of age. He met Trish when they were both in the third grade at Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, which is north of Houston. Shane played soccer, was a Cub Scout, and played trumpet in the Cy-Fair High School Band.
Mr. Speaker, this is a photograph of Shane taken not too long ago.
Shane joined the United States Army when he was 17. His mom, Cheryl, had to sign the papers, but she said he really wanted to be a soldier. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant in the United States Army. He served in Korea in 1998 and 1999. When he got back home to Texas, he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University in just 2 1/2 years, graduating summa cum laude.
He became a Texas game warden. That's a photograph of him here in his game warden uniform. That happened in 2003. He earned the nickname "Superman" from his fellow game wardens because he excelled in everything he did.
In 2005, Shane left for a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq when his oldest boy was just 3 weeks of age. He served as a counterintelligence special agent for the 321st Military Intelligence Battalion. He earned the Bronze Star and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
But after his tour in Iraq, Shane came home to Texas to his game warden job and then he became a Chambers County sheriff's deputy just 2 months ago. The job of a deputy with the Chambers County Sheriff's Department allowed him to spend more time with his family. He worked the night shift until just last month.
This young lawman's death is particularly tragic because he leaves behind such young children. Shane's family pastor, Scott Neal of Eagle Heights Fellowship, said it's been particularly heartbreaking. He said, "I asked his wife how she was doing, and she said, `Only my 4-year-old will remember who their father was."' That's very sad.
Mr. Speaker, the men and women who serve this country as lawmen and soldiers make great sacrifices to guard the safety and security of our communities. They risk their very lives in that service every day. Their families make great sacrifices as well.
So today we pay tribute to the extraordinary young man called Shane, with so much life ahead of him and his young family who suffers the loss of a wonderful man.
This Nation and the State of Texas owe Shane and his family an immeasurable debt of gratitude for their sacrifice. My fellow Texan who also represents southeast Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, and I are deeply sorry for the loss of Shane. Tomorrow, Shane will be buried in Mont Belvieu Texas.
Mr. Speaker, Shane Detwiler wore the uniform of a soldier, he wore the uniform of a Texas peace officer, he fought bad guys in Iraq, and back home he fought them as well. He did double service protecting the people. He was quite a person. He was the best that America has.
And that's just the way it is.
Patrol vessel to be named “PV Shane Detwiler”
The Texas Parks & Wildlife 29’ patrol vessel is being commissioned as the “Patrol Vessel Shane Detwiler” in honor of former Game Warden & Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Thomas Detwiler. The PV Shane Detwiler has been assigned to Region 4 District 4, with the hailing port in Anahuac. The vessel will be a corner stone in our enforcement efforts.
Shane Thomas Detwiler was born July 31st, 1977 in Salem. He was a 1995 graduate of Cy-Fair High School and upon graduation joined the Army and served four years of active duty.
After his military service, Shane attended Sam Houston State University. He graduated summa cum laude in just 2 ¸ years, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Shane then decided to become a Texas Game Warden and in 2003, graduated from the 49th Game Warden Academy Class and was stationed in Chambers County.
Shane returned to the Army Reserves and in 2005, he left for a year-long tour of duty in Iraq serving as a counterintelligence special agent for the 321st Military Intelligence Battalion, earning a Bronze Star and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Shane then returned home to Chambers County and resumed his job with the Game Wardens. He was with the Texas Game Wardens for six years before deciding to become a Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy.
On July 13th, 2009, Deputy Sheriff Shane Thomas Detwiler was fatally shot responding to a shots fired disturbance call.
Shane had a tremendous driving passion to keep people safe and loved what he did. Shane’s entire adult life was spent serving his country, county, state and community.
Survivors include his wife Trish Detwiler; two sons, Audie and Aiden; his daughter Abigail; his mother & stepfather, Cheryl & Mike Railsback; his father & stepmother, Thomas & Nina Detwiler; his sister & brother-in-law, Brandi & Jimmy McKnight and his grandmothers, Victoria Detwiler & Marjorie Daugherty.
The vessel will be placed in commission for active service on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at the Jobe Beason Park in Oak Island, Chambers County, Texas at 1:30pm.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will endow this vessel’s identity in the presence of officials from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division and Texas Game Wardens of Region Four, District Four, who will crew and command the vessel.