ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The call of an “officer down” set in motion a search for answers spanning multiple agencies and focusing on several persons of interest.
In a press conference Friday, officials announced they had ruled the death of Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, who was found shot in the backyard of his Round Rock home on July 25, a suicide.
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton thanked Round Rock police for working around the clock, but he also said he was sorry.
“I want to apologize to the citizens of Williamson County for having to use that many resources to address this particular issue,” Hamilton said. “I know a lot of us are asking why. We probably will never know.”
Round Rock’s police chief said investigators analyzed and processed more than 150 pieces of evidence, looked into 125 tips, and canvassed more than 200 homes. Agencies pitched in from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to the U.S. Marshals to the FBI. The conclusion of the investigation found the sergeant died at his own hand.
“Sheriff, we would do this every day of our life in Williamson County until we have evidence that leads us to a different direction,” said Judge Bill Gravell, Williamson County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, in defense of the investigation.
Aside from physical evidence, officers also focused in on six people as they explored the possibility that Hutchinson could have been murdered. A spokesperson for the Round Rock Police Department confirmed six people had been arrested on unrelated charges and were also persons of interest in the case. They were later cleared of any involvement in Sgt. Hutchinson’s death.
James Wright was one the people officers arrested on unrelated charges. Wright says he knows Hutchinson’s stepdaughter. He said that right after he found out about the deputy’s death, officers took him to jail.
“Detained me and then that’s whenever the detectives started telling me about the real reason why they pulled me over and everything, which was Sgt. Hutchinson,” said Wright. “I was a suspect.”
Court documents state officers arrested Wright after Round Rock Police asked for help finding him in an ongoing investigation. Police later confirmed Wright was a person of interest in Hutchinson’s death.
Authorities held Wright for 10 days on an evading arrest charge, he says. Court documents show he was arrested on July 25, the day of Hutchinson’s death, and he pleaded guilty to attempted evading arrest on August 3. Officers following Wright claim he tried to drive away when officers pulled him over for allegedly not having a driver license and having registration was expired.
Wright contends he was not trying to flee.
“I’ve cooperated, my intention was not to run at all. I’m not the person you were looking for,” said Wright.
Wright said he wants a lawyer to look over his case.