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Trooper Shooting Suspect Found Dead Of Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound

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J. Hoskins, Joey Dauben
Ellis County Press

LINDEN- East Texas law enforcement officers closed in on Brandon Wayne Robertson, 37, on Thursday in rural Cass County.  As officers were closing in, Robertson shot himself.   Cass County Sheriff's officials said that Robertson and a female accomplice had been staying in a dilapidated barn off of County Road 1437.   Officials found the car officers were looking for, and then found Robertson dead inside the barn. 

According to a source close to the investigation,
when a DPS helicopter hovered over the barn where he was hiding, he called 911 and told the dispatcher to send the helicopter away or he would kill 'the woman'. Officers then knew they had located  Robertson's location. They converged on the barn, and a female came out and surrendered. Officers then heard a single gunshot from inside the barn. Robertson committed suicide as officers were rapidly approaching his hideout, according to several Cass County Sheriff's Department officials. 

Robertson died of a single self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Taken into custody at the scene was Jennifer Lynne Petrick, 36, an alleged accomplice of Robertson.  Charges are pending in the case against Petrick.

"Authorities had tracked Robertson through information gained from calls he made to the local 911 center, as well as through investigative tactics, and many calls to a tip line that had been set up to give a $30,000 reward," DPS reported.

Sylvia Jennings, spokeswoman for the DPS Texarkana office, said that Robertson knew officers were in the area Thursday.

"That's when he called 911 and told us that we needed to back off," she said.     Jennings said she did not know what kind of charges Petrick would face, other than criminal charges were pending.

Robertson, ironically, was hid out less than 1 mile from the feed store which Trooper Burns' parents owned.   Authorities say they do not know why he was in the area, as he had no connections to the region.

Trooper Burns was shot and killed allegedly by Robertson near the intersection of FM 729 and FM 1969, northeast of Lake of the Pines. At approximately 7:57 pm on Tuesday night, Marion County dispatchers received a call over the trooper's radio from a citizen stating that the trooper had been shot.


Trooper Burns is the eighty-third DPS officer to die in the line of duty.


Trooper Burns joined DPS on March 1, 2003. After graduation from the DPS Recruit School, he was stationed in Linden until that office was closed. He then transferred to the Atlanta Highway Patrol office on April 1, 2004. He transferred to Jefferson on Sept. 1, 2006, and was stationed there when he died.


Before joining the DPS, Trooper Burns had worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was born in Longview and attended college at Tyler Junior College, Texarkana College and Ouachita Baptist University.


Trooper Burns is survived by his wife and five-month-old child.


Funeral arrangements have been set for this weekend.  Visitation for Trooper Burns will be held on Friday May 2nd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Linden, Texas.   Funeral services will be held  at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Linden. Burial will follow at the Shiloh Cemetery on U.S. 59 South, under the direction of Reeder-Davis-Schindler Funeral Home in Linden.


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Nelson Propane

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