The teen suspect in the kidnapping of six-year-old Alanna Gallagher in North Texas opened fire on police officers on Tuesday morning when they approached his home.
Tyler Holder (17), the Gallagher family’s neighbor, is suspected of abducting the little girl while she played outside her Fort Worth home and murdering her. Her body was found five hours later almost naked, in a trash bag, covered with a tarpaulin at the side of the road close to her home.
NBC reports that the authorities are also investigating the possibility that Holder has an accomplice.
Law enforcement sources say investigators are actively looking for a possible second person in connection with the case. Surveillance video shows that Holder's pickup truck never left his house the day Gallagher disappeared.
Holder’s arrest comes after weeks of investigation by the authorities and following the discovery last week that the memorial, set up at the site where the girls body was found, had been torched, as well as a car owned by the Gallagher family.
Police believe that Holder sexually assaulted the child and suffocated her. When she was found plastic bags were wrapped around her neck. Also Holder’s DNA matched evidence found on Gallagher’s body and the belt wrapped around the tarpaulin, the court record states.
During the shoot out at his home, Holder shot a police officer. Returning fire hit Holder although his condition has not been released. He is being held at the John Peter Smith Hospital, in Fort Worth.
Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman with Fort Worth's MedStar Emergency Medical Services, indicated to CBS News that Holder had been shot in the head.
Police detective Charles Lodatto, who Holder shot in the groin severing the femoral artery, is expected to recover.
The Holder family lives two doors down from the Gallaghers in the neat middle-class neighborhood.
The six-year-old girl was last seen playing by the flowerbeds at Holder’s home, according to a neighbor’s affidavit. Another neighbor’s police report also mentions having seen the tarpaulin in Holder’s backyard before the girl’s death.
According to the Daily Mail, former classmates of Holder said the “socially awkward teenager had a love of weapons, carried knives, and would crack sick jokes about rape.”
Mikayla Dawson (16) said he was an “angry person” and added, “He was the kid that you were always really nice to because you didn’t know if he was going to come shoot up the school.”
Here’s the local NBC update on the story:
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