Midland Officer Killed by Homeowner Fearing Break-in

Early Tuesday morning at around 2:30 a.m., Nathan Hayden Heidelberg and three other Midland Police Department (MPD) officers responded to an activated burglar alarm.

According to police, they announced loudly that officers were on the premises at the front entrance of the home.

The homeowner, David Wilson, had apparently not heard the warning, and thought his home was being broken into. He fired at the flashlight Officer Heidelberg held, striking him just above his body armor.

While his fellow officers attempted to treat his wounds and promptly transported him to the hospital, he died at 8:30 a.m.

“It is with the utmost sorry that we acknowledge the passing of our family member. Officer Nathan Heidelberg, a five-year veteran of the Midland Police Department, represented the best in all of us. He was courageous, selfless, ethical and professional. Nathan treated others with respect, regardless of their demeanor or actions.

He was a tireless public servant who devoted every ounce of energy to this profession, the citizens and his fellow officers. We have lost not only a great officer, but a loving brother and the most positive example of what we should all aspire to be. I wish I was more like Nathan,” said MPD Chief Seth Herman about his fallen officer.

First responders, fire fighters, and police officers in the towns and cities along I-20 stood at parade rest as the vehicle carrying their slain brother’s body to the autopsy in Tarrant County passed by. Other people lined up along the interstate to pay their respects, according to the Abilene Reporter News.

Wilson was arrested and charged with manslaughter for killing Heidelberg, who is the first officer killed in the line of duty in Midland since 1961.

This unfortunate story highlights the need for a quality light next to, or mounted on your home defense weapon.

You must identify your target before you shoot or you could make the same mistake as Wilson.

The four firearm safety rules don’t go out the window just because there is an intruder in your home.

  1. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
  3. Know your target and what is beyond.
  4. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

And how can you know your target and what is beyond if you can’t see your target to begin with?

What do you have as a light source for your home defense weapon? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Don’t have one? Read here for a list of the Top 5 Weapon Mounted Lights.


  1. Mike Fox on March 5, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I have laser sights on firearm and a police type flashlight with my firearms at all times. I can’t believe anyone would not hear the police calling out. Call out to and warn the intruder that the police have been called. And finally, to just fire your weapon at a flashlight. Not knowing who’s behind it. How ignorant.

  2. Larry D Price on March 5, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    This is a terrible tragedy, but more information is needed to make judgement. At 2:30 in the middle of the night, who wouldn’t be shook up? Where was the activated alarm coming from? Did the police cars have all the flashing lights on to alert people that they were in the area? Did they use a loud speaker or just yell out ? I agree that you should always follow the basic safety rules for guns, but sometimes bad things happen. I’m not condoning the shooting, just saying that there’s a lot to be looked at here. All lives matter. God help everyone involved.

    • Robert Dougherty on April 4, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      Well put Larry. Very sad for this officer’s family and for the dept and whole community, but also for the man who fired his weapon in the dark while probably having a light shining in his eyes.

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