ICC News

East Texas Code Enforcement Officer Gunned Down

[Source: http://www.commercejournal.com | June 12, 2007]

Michael “Pee Wee” Walker, code enforcement officer for the City of Commerce, Texas, was taking photos of alleged code violations at the home of Adam Kelly Ward when he was shot multiple times by Ward.

According to District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas of the 354th District Court, Ward objected and the two argued, with Ward spraying Walker with a hose. Walker called 911 on his cell phone while Ward allegedly ran into the house, grabbed a .45 caliber pistol and two loaded clips. Thomas said Ward returned to the scene and began chasing Walker, shooting him as many as eight times as they ran. Thomas said Ward was attempting to reload the gun before Adam Ward’s father, Ralph Ward, took the weapon away.

“Walker was brutally murdered, execution-style, simply because he was doing his job,” Thomas said. “He shot him again, and again and again. Adam Ward did not stop shooting until the clip was empty.”

Michael Walker’s father, Dick Walker, serves as the volunteer chief of the Commerce Emergency Corps and as an emergency medical technician. He said the initial call came in that a police officer had been shot and that he didn’t realize until his unit was en route to the location that the city’s only code enforcement officer, his son, was the victim. He arrived on scene to find his son near death. “I dropped to my knees and I told him his dad was here and would take care of him,” the elder Walker said. “They were devastating wounds, devastating. I told him I loved him and that he would be all right. He wasn’t.”

Adam Ward’s lead defense counsel, Dennis Davis, said Ward was the product of a “severely dysfunctional family” and claimed he was only playing a role in an ongoing conflict between his father and the Commerce city government.

“Adam Ward, through his father Ralph Ward, had been at war with the City of Commerce since before he was born,” Davis said. “On that fateful morning ... the first foot soldier of that war, Michael Walker, died.”

Davis characterized the Ward household as one in which the family believed that the City of Commerce, the Commerce Independent School District and the Commerce Police Department were all conspiring against them, and that years of paranoia had reached a boiling point.

“What Michael Walker did not know is that he was walking into a war that day,” Davis said, noting that there had been several recommendations made to Ward’s parents that their son should receive treatment, advice which Davis said was ignored.

Prosecutors said there were several witnesses to the shooting. One of them, Joseph Hamilton, was setting up a metal building down the street from the scene when he began hearing gunshots. He said he watched Walker being chased by Ward, with Walker first trying to get into his truck and drive away, and then getting out of the vehicle.

“He just kept getting shot until he finally died there on the sidewalk,” Hamilton said.

[Original Release: http://www.commercejournal.com/local/local_story_163123234.html]

Awards Ceremony Honors Slain Code Enforcement Officer

Almost three dozen individuals and agencies are scheduled to be recognized next month during an awards ceremony named in honor of a slain Commerce code enforcement officer.

The inaugural Mike Walker Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony will be presenting 33 awards during the ceremony, scheduled for November 22 in Commerce. The event is being sponsored by the Hunt County African American Leadership Conference and is named in honor of Walker, a father of two who was shot and killed on June 13, 2005.

“There is no greater calling than putting one’s life on the line for so many,” said Dr. M. LaVelle Hendricks, President of the Hunt County African American Leadership Conference. “Mike was a great father and everyone who met him was never a stranger. We are pleased to present awards in his name to many recipients from our area.”

Click here for more on the awards.


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