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.
- Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
- 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.