Details released in Hodges shooting death
By Kari Collins and Sherrie Williams
The investigation into the death of Iowa Park native and resident Heath Wayne Hodges, 36, on December 30, 2017, in an officer involved shooting in Crowell, is complete.
The law enforcement officer involved, Foard County Sheriff’s Deputy Perry Shaw, was no-billed by the Foard County Grand Jury on April 22.
Few details outlining the events that led up to the shooting have been released in the past four months.
Luke Inman, Childress County District Attorney, presented the case to the grand jury, and responded this week to the Iowa Park Leader’s open record request seeking information.
Inman handled the case because Wilburger County District Attorney Staley Heatly recused himself due to his professional relationship with Shaw.
Wilburger County also handles Foard and Hardeman County’s cases.
According to the witnesses statements in the report of investigation received from Inman, Hodges and Heather Ballard arrived at the home of Justin and Amber Haynie, her brother-in-law and sister, to celebrate Christmas, that day.
(It should be noted the Texas Rangers’ interview statement reports states, “ The following is a summary of this interview and does not contain all statements made, nor does it necessarily reflect the chronology of the interview.”)
In Justin’s statement he told a Texas Ranger he had met Hodges once before, but did not know him very well, although they had several mutual acquaintances.
He stated he had invited Hodges to come to his residence to celebrate Christmas with family members. He said Hodges and Heather arrived at approximately 1:30 p.m.
After spending time with family, Justin and Hodges went driving in Foard County. They purchased beer at a local store and Haynie believed Hodges drank approximately four or five beers. He stated Hodges did not seem drunk to him. Later Haynie stated he had drank four beers throughout the day, and he thought Hodges had four or five and two whiskey drinks throughout the evening. He said he and Hodges had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. He said the marijuana belonged to Hodges and he did not know where the remaining would be or if there was any. He stated there was no additional drug use by him or Hodges of which he was aware.
After returning home he and Hodges were inside the residence when a vehicle drove by and Haynie stated he noticed an immediate demeanor change in Hodges.
According to the statement, Hodges stated, “You played me like a pawn.” Justin stated Hodges continued to act erratically and used Haynie’s phone to call two numbers. He stated he gave Hodges his phone in an attempt to calm him down and Hodges was walking around dialing numbers.
Justin stated his wife asked Hodges to leave and Ballard told Hodges he was acting crazy and he made a statement that she was treating him like her ex-husband.
The statement went on to say, Justin stated Hodges had accused him of conspiring against Hodges in concert with Hodges’ ex-wife.
Haney stated while Hodges was making phone calls, he told whoever he was talking to that he had been framed. He also told someone to bring a helicopter to pick him up and also made the statement, “It will be over with in ten minutes.”
Heather Ballard’s witness statement, which was consistent with Haynie’s as far as the time line in which she and Hodges arrived, they plan to celebrate Christmas, and Hodges and Haynie leaving the house together.
She also said the men left and returned a few times.
According to the report, she said shortly after returning the last time, she spoke with Hodges about going to a nearby store for some stomach medicine. While having that conversation with Hodges, she said he began to act strangely.
Hodges made a statement to her that she and his wife had the same lawyer, and he believed they were conspiring against him. She said his demeanor had changed, “Like someone had flipped a light switch.”
She said she and Hodges had been dating since October 2017. She believed Hodges had been drinking excessively during that time. She mentioned a bottle of Texas Bourbon she gave Justin Haynie for Christmas and the fact the majority of the bottle had been consumed that day.
Ballard also stated Hodges told her earlier in the evening that he had smoked “weed.”
She also said in the statement, she and Hodges were supposed to go home, but Hodges wanted to spend the night at the family’s residence.
Ballard’s statement was consistent with Haynie’s statement about Hodges, thinking the Haynies were part of a plot against him and about the phone calls Hodges made and statement about a helicopter.
Ballard stated she began attempting to get Hodges to leave and attempted to take his hand and arm to lead him out of the house. She said things continued to escalate, Hodges walked outside the residence and made accusations against her, before returning inside.
She said at one point Hodges and Justin Haynie were in the laundry room and she heard Haynie hit the door and could see Hodges was still on the phone. She said Justin was telling Hodges to get out of his house, according to the report.
Both Ballard and Haynie mentioned in their statements Hodges having a gun.
In Ballard’s statement, she told the Texas Ranger’s when Shaw went inside the house she stayed outside. She said she heard people talking and then shots.
Stated she she tried to go in to administer aid to Hodges, but she was not allowed to do so.
Amber Haynie, stated it was around 4 p.m. when the two men left.
She also said she did not feel they were intoxicated.
She said she used Hodges’ truck, because Hodges offered, to pick up a daughter’s friend. She said shortly before 9 p.m. she received a call from Hodges on her husband’s phone asking if she was leaving to return home and she told him she was.
She said shortly after she returned at approximately 9 p.m. her husband and Hodges left in Hodges pickup and returned a short time later. She said nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
It was during or shortly after the conversation Hodges had with Ballard about going to a local store to purchase stomach medicine that Hodges looked at her and her brother-in-law and said, “Ya’ll played me” and he then began speaking about Ballard’s attorney. She said he continued that line of accusations for some time, and then began making phone calls to individuals requesting they come get him, according to the report.
There were children in another part of the home.
Amber Haynie told Hodges she had kids and to please leave and Hodges told her he would not leave, the report said.
She said Haynie then told Hodges he would not disrespect his wife and at that time Amber went to the kids’ bedroom.
(There were at least two children and an infant in the home and the report indicates they stayed in another part of the house until things escalated, then they went to a family member’s residence next door, but the infant was asleep in a bedroom.)
It was during this time Hodges reportedly called and texted at least two of his friends requesting they come get him.
One of the friends was an Iowa Park resident.
In the Iowa Park friend’s statement to Texas Rangers, he received a call from Hodges telling him to “Get his a## to Crowell to pick him up in 10 minutes.” The friend asked Hodges what was happening and Hodges replied, “Don’t worry about it and get your a## up here.”
The friend told Hodges he had a friend in Vernon that might be able to pick him up.
The Iowa Park friend called his friend in Vernon and the Vernon friend said he had been drinking and would not be able to help. The Iowa Park friend asked the Vernon friend to call Hodges and see if they could work out a solution. He called the Iowa Park friend back shortly and said Hodges was in trouble, according to the report.
The Iowa Park friend called Hodges again and again Hodges stated he was in trouble, but the call was disconnected. The Iowa Park friend said he thought Hodges had been arrested for something so he called the Foard County Sheriff, but the sheriff stated he could not talk at this time, the statement said.
The Vernon friend said when he called Hodges he told him he could not go to Crowell as he had been drinking and did not feel comfortable driving. He offered to see if someone else could pick Hodges up. Hodges told him he believed he had been set up by his ex-wife’s lawyer. He then told the Vernon friend “They had forced him to buy marijuana.” He said while he was talking he could hear someone in the background saying “Don’t raise your voice at me again” before the line went dead. Then attempted to call Hodges back, but did not get an answer.
Hodges called another friend who stated she received a call from Hodges and he told her he needed her to send help or come help him and that he was in Crowell. She stated she tried to get Hodges to tell her what was happening, but the call was disconnected while she was speaking. She called him back and he told her that he needed her to come help him, that he was about to go to jail and the call went dead again, the statement said.
It was during or shortly after the calls Hodges was making to friends that he also made calls to law enforcement.
It should also be noted in the Texas Ranger reports Hodges exchanged two text messages with friends including the Iowa Park friend.
The first message from the Iowa Park friend stated, “Let me know where I need to come pick you up. When (another male subject) and I come get you.” The second from that same phone stated, “Where are you.”
The following are 9-1-1 calls made by Hodges. The calls were brief and then disconnected. Twice the dispatcher called Hodges back. The first time he answered and after a brief conversation the call again disconnected. The second call from the dispatcher went to Hodges’ voice mail.
During one of those calls the dispatcher had Hodges on one line and could be heard calling law enforcement to update them on what he was hearing.
During each of the calls with Hodges, screaming and yelling could be heard in the background, as well as and a sound similar to someone hitting some thing.
911 Calls - Chronological
Call back from Hardeman Co. Sheriff’s Dept. to Heath Hodges: “Hey”
Dispatcher: “I received a 911 call from this number. Is everything OK?”
Hodges: “No it’s not. We got us a problem. We need you to come to this address.”
There was some confusion over what address he was at. Then cursing, loud voices and banging sounds in the background. Hodges says, “Thank you,” and call disconnected.
The call begins with commotion, then Hodges yelling,
“Now! I need someone here now!” Followed by yelling and commotion.
The dispatcher repeated the address Hodges had given him, which was incorrect.
Hodges then says to the dispatcher:
“Hurry! Wherever you’re at, get here!”
More yelling, then Hodges says, “We’re at Haynie’s house in Crowell, Texas. “ Then more urgently, “I need help, get here NOW!”
The dispatcher tells Hodges he is trying to find where he’s at, then Hodges again yells, “Help! Get off of me now or I’m pulling my gun. Get off of me now!, or I’m ...”
“Hold on sir, I’m getting help.”
Hodges calls Hardeman County 911 again.
Hodges: (Yelling urgently) “Here! I need you now.”
Dispatch: “I know sir. I’m sending people right now. I’m sending the Sheriff there.”
Hodges: “If you will. I need help.
Dispatch: “I’m sending them.”
Hodges: “I’m leaving my phone on. I’ve got my gun out and I’m holding ‘em here.”
Dispatch: “Ok, I’m sending them that way.”
Hodges: “There’s a major problem. I will have a gun in my hand when they get here.”
Dispatch: “Ok, What’s going on?
Hodges: “Do not shoot. Do not shoot”
Hodges “It’s a major pawn. There’s lawyers involved. There was a lawyer hired to get me in a scam. And I need cops here now. Where you at?”
Dispatch: ”I’ve got the Sheriff’s office on their way.”
During this call, there is another recording of dispatch contacting Mike, believed to be Foard County Sheriff Mike Brown and alerts him that he has somebody on the phone, holding somebody at gunpoint. The dispatcher then tells Mike that the caller said not to shoot because he has somebody at gunpoint.
9:49 p.m. - Final call to Hodges from dispatch in which Hodges answers the phone.
Hodges: “Hey, You got somebody here?”
Dispatch: “They’re on their way sir, I promise you that. What’s going on? I need to know what’s going on.”
The call was then disconnected.
Dispatch called Hodges phone back. - No answer, went to voice mail.
Calls from and to law enforcement cell phones -
Recorded phone calls/Perry Shaw
Shaw at home, receives a call from a man who says he saw a nice John Deere tractor with a shredder going through town that appeared to have been the one stolen from Frederick, OK in the previous week.
Justin Haynie: What’s going on, Perry?
Shaw tells Haynie he’s getting dressed to check out the report of the possible stolen tractor.
Haynie: “Yeah, there’s some S*** going on here at the house. I don’t know what happened but this dude has flipped, and it has gotten weird as s***”
Shaw: “What’s happened now?”
Haynie: “Just come to the house and I’ll tell you, please.”
Shaw: “OK. Does it have something to do with this same guy?”
Brother-in-law of Hodges’ friend: “Nothing to do with a John Deere tractor. I’ll see you in a minute.
Shaw gets a call from an unidentified (on the recording) male telling him to get to the address Hodges gave, and that a man has somebody at gunpoint.
Another call apparently came through, and Shaw disconnected the first call and answered. The caller was a female, believed to be Amber Haynie. Shaw answers the call, “I’m-a comin’ “. The female says, “Please hurry.”
Shaw asks the woman if this is where a man has somebody at gunpoint, and she says yes.
Phone call from Shaw to unidentified male.
Shaw: “It’s gonna be at Haynie’s house. Friend’s sister just called and said “get there.”
Male: “Alright, I’m on my way.
Phone call from Shaw to Brown:
Female screaming and crying in the background, two male voices could be heard in the back ground, as well.
Shaw: “Shots fired. I’m good.” More screaming and crying in the background.
Phone call from Shaw to dispatcher.
More screaming and crying in background.
Shaw: “Hello? Hello?
Dispatch: “Go ahead, sir:
Shaw: “This is Perry. I need an ambulance over here at Justin Haynie’s house please.”
Dispatch: “They’re on their way.”
Shaw: “Alrighty, thank you.”
Sheriff Brown calls Hardeman County Sheriff Office, identifies himself and tells the person on the phone that there has been an officer-involved shooting and asked them to contact the Texas Rangers.
Reports indicate once EMS arrived at the scene with two on- duty personnel in an ambulance a number of other first responders stopped at the residence in their personal vehicles to offer assistance and stated they had heard on the “radio” there had been a shooting at that address.
Some provided assistance including helping with moving Hodges to the ambulance and one stated he responded to the residence based on traffic he overheard on his radio. He said he went to te scene to assist as a volunteer fireman and friend of the residents. He stated he assisted with securing the scene and keeping non-essential personnel out of the residence. He stated he did not enter the residence, other than assisting residents with obtaining personal property from an area of the home, away from the location of the shooting.
The following is the female EMS personnel’s statement, “She stated she and another EMS was on-duty at the station when they were first notified of the officer-involved shooting. The call came in through an emergency phone call, answered by an operator, which came over the EMS radio channel. The call was made by a female. The EMS female heard another call over the radio that she believed was made by Haynie. She stated she and the other EMsSperson responded to the shooting in an ambulance and they were the first EMS personnel on scene and immediately went into the residence to administer aid. She stated Shaw was standing inside the south doorway of the residence when she arrived. She stated when she entered the residance, a female, believed to be Ballard, was kneeling in the living room area and she asked for the female to be escorted outside, due to her mental state. The two EMS then began to administer aid to Hodges and she noticed no respirations from Hodges. He had no palpable pulse at this time. The decision was made to load Hodges into the ambulance. Upon resuming care inside the ambulance, again, no signs of life were obtained, according to the report.
Also, a Sheriff from a neighboring county arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting was aired and provided assistance with securing the area. He left when the Texas Rangers arrived.
A Foard County reserve dupty also responded to the scene.
The reserve dupty stated he initially learned of the officer-related shooting through traffic on his radio and he traveled to the location to assist.
He stated upon arriving he witnessed Shaw exit the residence and hand his weapon to Sheriff Brown.
The reserve deputy entered the residence and witnessed emergency medical personnel providing aid to a wounded suspect. He stated he did not touch or move anything inside the residence, other than assisting moving the wounded subject to the ambulance. He also stated he secured the crime scene at the direction of Sheriff Brown. He sat inside the residence for some time in an effort to make sure the crime scene was not unnecessarily disturbed. He stated he assisted the family members with removing personal items from the residence. He said while this was underway, no one disturbed anything in the immediate area of the shooting.
Amber indicated family members came into the house after Hodges was shot, but they entered and exited from an east door.
The following is Shaw’s statement to Texas Rangers. The report indicated Shaw was allowed to watch his in car video before making the statement.
Shaw’s Official Statement
“My name is Perry Walton Shaw and I am employed as a commissioned Peace Officer with the Foard County Sheriff Office. I have been a commissioned Peace Officer for approximately ten years and seven months.
On the night of 12/30/2017, I was off duty and at my residence, when I received a call from a local citizen regarding a possible stolen tractor located in the city of Crowell. I was neither on call nor on duty, but elected to investigate the possibly stolen tractor. As I was getting dressed to investigate the stolen tractor, I received a call from Justin Haynie, a citizen of Crowell, whom I have known personally for several years. Haynie requested I come to his house but gave no details of the nature of his problem. Haynie only indicated that something unusual was happening at his residence. I felt that I heard an urgency in his voice. I asked if this was regarding a stolen tractor and Haynie stated it was not, and stated again that I needed to come to his residence.
I finished getting dressed in blue jeans, western boots, and a brown uniform type shirt. I was also wearing a green coat due to the cold weather. I also placed a clip on badge holder, containing a Foard County Sheriff Office Badge, on the right side of my belt, next to my agency approved sidearm.
Prior to leaving my residence, I received a call from Foard County Sheriff Mike Brown. Sheriff Brown stated he needed me to respond to 407 North Main, based on a 911 call of a man with a gun. Having received the call from Haynie, I felt this information could be related to the same incident that Haynie was involved with.
I then left my residence in my issued patrol vehicle, a 2015 Dodge Ram four door pickup, which is marked with Foard County Sheriff Office insignia and has red and blue emergency lights on top of the cab and in the front grill.
While driving I received another call from Haynie’s phone and told them I was on the way to their residence and could hear Haynie speaking to someone in the background. After receiving this call, I felt I needed to drive to 407 North First, Haynie’s residence, instead of 407 North Main, as Sheriff Brown had indicated. Based on this, I called Sheriff Brown and told him the call location was most likely Haynie’s residence at 407 North First.
As I drove south on Main Street, I turned east onto Horner Street toward Haynie’s residence. pulled over on the north side of Horner Street directly south of Haynie’s residence and parked with my vehicle angling toward the south door of the residence.
I left my emergency lights activated, knowing that the video system was recording as well. As I exited my vehicle, I was met by an adult female, I knew only by her first name of Heather. She made a statement indicating a man inside the residence was armed with a gun, but stated she would take him home if I could get his gun and get him into his vehicle.
I continued walking toward the south door of the residence and believed she continued walking west away from the residence. I approached the south door of the Haynie residence, located at 407 North First and stepped onto the steps located immediately outside the door. I then opened the south door and immediately saw a white male that I did not recognize as a member of the Haynie family. I also saw Justin Haynie standing close by. I introduced myself as Perry Shaw with the Foard County Sheriff Office and shook the unidentified white male’s hand. The white male backed into the residence and I stepped further into the residence as well. I asked the white male if he had a gun on him and he smiled, which I thought was odd in this situation. Without being asked, the white male pulled up his shirt or jacket, exposing a stainless steel revolver in a black holster, on his belt. I told the white male, I needed his gun but as I was saying this the white male reached for his gun and I reached to grab his hand and prevent him from drawing the weapon. As I did this, the white male quickly stepped back and drew his weapon, pointing it toward me. At this time I felt in fear for my life. In response, I drew my sidearm and fired two rounds at the white male. The white male fell toward me landing on the floor near the south door and I saw a large amount of blood on the floor around him.
The weapon landed on the floor very close to the white male’s hand. I then holstered my sidearm and used a nearby piece of clothing to pick up the white male’s weapon and place it on a nearby table. I felt it necessary to better secure the scene, so first aid could be provided to the wounded white male.
Haynie stated he was calling for Emergency Medical Services and I called Sheriff Brown to advise him shots had been fired and I was unharmed. Shortly thereafter, I walked outside to await assistance. I attempted to walk back inside the residence to provide aid and check on Haynie’s condition but was met by Sheriff Brown, who had arrived on scene. At this time Sheriff Brown took possession of my sidearm to preserve it as evidence and I elected to stay outside of the residence, but on scene, until released by investigating officers.
While awaiting investigating officers’ arrival, I told Sheriff Brown and Hardeman County Sheriff Pat Laughery, who had arrived on scene to assist, that my in-car video was still recording. Sheriff Laughery turned the recording off at this time.”
The following are Sheriff Brown’s comments documented in the Texas Rangers’ reports:
“ The following is a summary of this interview and does not contain all statements made, nor does it necessarily reflect the chronology of the interview.”
“· In regard to the officer-involved shooting, Sheriff Brown stated he initially received a call from Hardeman County Dispatch, stating an emergency call had been received regarding a man requesting assistance, who had someone at gunpoint. The caller stated he needed immediate assistance and told the dispatcher a statement to the effect of “Don’t shoot me when you get here, I’ve got a gun on them.”
· Sheriff Brown stated the address of this incident was given to him as 407 North Main, Crowell, Texas, but this was found to be incorrect.
· Sheriff Brown stated he called Chief Shaw regarding this incident and briefly spoke with him. During this conversation, Sheriff Brown learned that the actual address was most likely ( ) and agreed to meet Chief Shaw at this location.
· Sheriff Brown stated Chief Shaw arrived on scene shortly before he did. Prior to arriving on scene, Sheriff Brown received a call from Chief Shaw, who told him “shots fired, I’m ok.”
· Upon arriving on scene, Sheriff Brown stated he saw Chief Shaw’s vehicle parked in the street with emergency lights activated.
· Sheriff Brown stated that he saw Heather Ballard attempting to return into the residence, but Chief Shaw was preventing her from doing so. Sheriff Brown also stated he saw Justin Haynie standing in the living room.
· Upon entering the residence, Sheriff Brown saw a male subject lying face down on the floor with blood around him.
· Sheriff Brown stated he asked Chief Shaw what had happened and Chief Shaw stated he told the male subject he needed his gun and the situation escalated to the subject drawing his gun, at which time Chief Shaw drew and fired two (2) shots.
· Sheriff Brown stated emergency medical personnel arrived shortly after him and attempted to render aid.
· Sheriff Brown stated he did not assist with aid or movement of the subject’s body.
· Sheriff Brown stated he took possession of Chief Shaw’s weapon and secured it in his vehicle.
· Sheriff Brown stated he then made several phone calls to request assistance.
· Sheriff Brown stated Hardeman County Sheriff Pat Laughery assisted with scene security and marking the crime scene, but did not enter the residence.
· Sheriff Brown listed several individuals present at the scene both inside and outside the residence. Sheriff Brown stated he did not see anyone move or disturb anything in the area where the shooting occurred, other than the body of the wounded subject, identified as Heath Hodges.
· Sheriff Brown stated he and assisting officers inventoried Hodges’ vehicle, during which he removed a handgun and a rifle, which were placed back in the vehicle prior to having it towed.”
According to a toxicology report, a DPS Blood Kit was sent in for Perry Shaw on January 22. The requested analysis was for alcohol and drug content.
The results showed no alcohol detected.
The autopsy report on Hodges showed the following:
There were two gun shot wounds to Hodges’ upper chest area.
The toxicology results showed:
Femoral Blood - test for ethanol, positive with the amount of 0.066 g/dl (Below legal limit of 0.08 g/dl)
Urine test for drugs showed negative for all tested which included THC (marijuana).
Femoral Blood test for Diphenhydramine showed positive 32 ng/ml; and Sertraline showed positive with 203 ng/ml.
According to Wikipedia, Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine mainly used to treat allergies. It is also used for insomnia, symptoms of the common cold, tremor in parkinsonism, and nausea.
Also, Sertraline, sold under the trade names Zoloft among others, is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is primarily used for major depressive disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
The grand jury no billed Shaw.
According to legal dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, “No Bill” means:
“A term that the foreman of the Grand Jury writes across the face of a bill of indictment (a document drawn up by a prosecutor that states formal criminal charges against a designated individual) to indicate that the criminal charges alleged therein against a suspect have not been sufficiently supported by the evidence presented before it to warrant his or her criminal prosecution.”