SAGINAW, Texas — A teenager suspected of suffocating a 6-year-old neighbor girl and leaving her body wrapped in a tarpaulin on a street corner in their North Texas neighborhood now stands accused of shooting a police officer who was trying to arrest him.
Tyler Holder, 17, of Saginaw, already was charged with capital murder in the death of Alanna Gallagher. Now, he faces an attempted capital murder charge in the shooting of Arlington police Detective Charles Lodatto.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lodatto, an FBI agent, and a Saginaw police detective went to Holder’s house Tuesday, two doors down from the Gallagher girl’s.
FBI Special Agent Andy Farrell knocked on the front door, announced themselves as police and came face-to-face with Holder.
The FBI agent asked to speak the teen but was refused. When Farrell then told him he was under arrest, “Holder reached behind him and produced a handgun.” Farrell grabbed for Holder and the gun and a struggled began. Holder shot Lodatto in the groin, then Saginaw police Detective Robert Richardson shot Holder in the head, according to the affidavit.
Holder remains hospitalized, but officials have refused to release his medical condition. Lodatto, the 2012 Arlington police detective of the year, was recovering Wednesday in a Fort Worth hospital.
The attempted arrest was the culmination of weeks of investigation and turmoil in the suburban Fort Worth neighborhood where Alanna Gallagher had lived, and it followed the discovery last week that someone had set fire to a makeshift memorial to the girl and torched a car owned by her family.
Authorities suspect that Holder sexually assaulted and suffocated his young neighbor, who was found with plastic bags taped around her neck, according to the capital murder arrest warrant affidavit. Holder’s DNA matched evidence found on the girl’s body and on a belt wrapped around the tarp, according to the affidavit.
Kimberly Holder lives at the home with her son but was not there Tuesday morning, police said. She referred calls to her attorney, Lance T. Evans, who said in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that she was in shock and worried about her son’s condition. Evans declined further comment.
Alanna had been missing for about five hours when her body was discovered July 1 on a street a mile from her house.