Texas Rangers investigate friendly fire shooting that killed deputy constable

Texas Rangers are investigating after a sheriff’s deputy shot a constable’s deputy by accident in Fort Bend County early Friday morning.

FOX 26 reporter Ivory Hecker has details from the scene in the sienna plantation subdivision of Missouri City.

It all started around 2 a.m. in the Sienna Plantation subdivision of Missouri City. Neighbors say the next door neighbor’s surveillance camera captured someone trying to get into an unoccupied house.

That neighbor called 911, and minutes later three sheriff’s deputies and a constable’s deputy began searching inside for the intruder.

“There was a suspicious person,” said Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls. “Caller stated that it appeared the suspicious person jumped into a back yard. Moments later a light turns on, and so deputies responded.”

Nehls says deputies discovered an unsecured back door on the home and went in, searching for the suspicious person.

“Shortly thereafter a deputy sheriff with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office discharged his firearm, believing there was an intruder inside the residence, and obviously he discovered that he shot the deputy constable,” said Nehls.

What the deputy thought was an intruder turned out to be Deputy Constable Caleb Rule. First aid was attempted as the 37-year-old was rushed to the hospital, but he died shortly thereafter from the gunshot wound to the chest.

“This is a tragedy,” said Nehls. “This is an absolute tragedy, and we have to pray for all the families involved.”

“He’s married to Eden, and he has four children, ages 13-to-18-years-of-age,” said Trevor Nehls, constable for Fort Bend County Precinct Four. “In fact his oldest daughter will graduate tonight. This is a somber day for the entire law enforcement community.”

Deputy Rule was a Missouri City police officer and detective for 14 years and had joined the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office 9 months ago.

Sheriff Nehls says there’s no word yet on what sort of verbal exchange may have occurred before the fatal shot was fired.

“As it relates to what went wrong, we immediately notified the Texas Rangers here in Fort Bend County,” said Nehls. “There were three Texas Rangers here on the scene, and so there’s a joint investigation being conducted.”

A spokesman for the Texas Rangers said all inquiries about the investigation are being deferred to the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.

A DA’s office spokesman told Fox 26 it’s too early yet to determine whether any deputy will be charged in this deadly shooting. He said typically these investigations are presented to a grand jury.