Friday marks a quarter century since a very dark day in Wichita Falls history.

On July 25th, 1989, Lieutenant Tommy Collins was shot and killed in the line of duty while assisting other officers responding to a man firing a 30-30 rifle at construction workers.

It started around 11 am, near the housing projects on the east side of Wichita Falls. Collins and two other officers were wounded by gunfire, and Collins, a 31 year veteran with the department, passed away at the hospital.

The shooter, 37 year old Dan Fowler, led police on a 5 hour search and was later caught miles down the Wichita River on a sandbar.

Then, after a lengthy trial, he escaped the death penalty with three 99 year prison terms.

The Wichita Falls Police Department said in a statement, "It's not how Lieutenant Collins died that makes him a hero, it's how he lived.

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