A veteran officer shot and killed himself Monday at the San Angelo Police Department headquarters.
Sgt. Freddy Dietz Jr., 53, had been with SAPD since 1983. Fred Dietz Sr. also was an SAPD officer, beginning in 1966 and retiring as a lieutenant in 1997.
His father confirmed that Dietz had died and said he was struggling to understand the situation. He said his son loved being a police officer and helped a lot of people during his career.
"He started out when he was just 19 years old," Dietz Sr. said. "I was real proud of him being a police officer. He did a lot of good."
The San Angelo Police Department issued the following news release about 4:10 p.m.:
At approximately 10:41 a.m., San Angelo Police responded to a private office within Police Headquarters where they located the body of Sergeant Freddy Dietz Jr., who was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Justice of the Peace Eddie Howard responded to the scene and formally pronounced Sgt. Dietz deceased.
Texas Ranger Todd Reed of the Texas Department of Public Safety is assisting with the investigation.
Sgt. Dietz’s body will be transported to the Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. There is no further information available at this time.
The Department is asking the members of the community to keep the Dietz family and Police Department in your thoughts and prayers and to respect their privacy during this difficult time.
A plaque at SAPD headquarters shows Dietz was Officer of the Year in 2016.
Dietz once was a D.A.R.E. officer, speaking to local students to help prevent drug and alcohol use, according to Standard-Times archives.
Dietz underwent surgery after an on-duty vehicle crash in April 2016 left him with severe injuries.
He was remembered as a good man and good officer in Facebook messages Monday:
Pete Flores wrote: "I was in the inaugural D.A.R.E program in 5th grade at Reagan Elementary. He and Officer Ruiz were the two officers who came to our classroom. I could never forget them and their leadership. My heart aches for the loss to the San Angelo Community."
Chelsea Kading wrote: "Our hearts break with this tragic news. Freddy was such a kind man with a wonderful sense of humor. I? hope he has found the peace he was looking for."
Tino Rojas wrote: "My condolences to his parents. Freddy and I had been friends for many years. R.I.P my brother. May you rest in the arms of our Father."
Sally Hagen wrote: "This is just heartbreaking, I'm so sad about this tragic loss. Officer Dietz was my DARE officer and such a great person and friend! My prayers are with him and his family."
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