From Marfa Public Radio:
It’s been a week since Midland Police Officer Nathan Heidelberg died in the line of duty while answering a call at a local residence.
Police accounts of the incident state that Heidelberg identified himself before entering the house. The homeowner, according to the arrest affidavit, mistook him for an intruder. Since then, the homeowner, an oil executive, was arrested and posted bail shortly after. Meanwhile, the Midland community continues to mourn. There’s been little information released so far, and many questions remain about what happened that morning.
After hymns and testimonials, the funeral for Midland Police officer Nathan Heidelberg came to its most emotional moment. The End of Watch call – the final time an officer is radioed after dying in the line of duty – was played for mourners.
“Attention Midland Police Department: There is no answer from unit 3348. Officer Heidelberg, you have served your last call.”
At the funeral, Heidelberg was awarded the highest honor for a Midland Police officer, the medal of valor. He had worked at the Midland Police Department for five years and was serving as a field training officer, or FTO. Midland’s Police Chief Seth Herman spoke during the service and revealed new details concerning Heidelberg’s last moments.
The 28-year-old officer was patrolling with a new police recruit on the morning of March 5. The two were the first to respond to a house where a panic alarm was set off. To the officers, nothing seemed out of the ordinary until one of them noticed the front door was “unsecured.” Then, through the door’s windows, Chief Herman explained, something appeared.
“An unknown subject dart[ed] from one side to the other of the hallway leading from the entryway into the residence living area,” he said.
The homeowner, David Charles Wilson, was inside, armed, and believed his home was being broken into. Heidelberg, on the other hand, worried the figure inside was an intruder. So without identifying himself first, he opened the door.
Chief Herman described the scene: “Fearing for the safety of occupants as well as his fellow officers, FTO Heidelberg pushed the already ajar door open. … In a strong commanding voice, announced his presence. His flashlight illuminating the hallway.”