GC investigator dies on duty; department mourns, shares memories
Grayson County's Sheriff's Office lost one of its own Wednesday evening. 38-year-old investigator Dusty Wainscott died in the line of duty after having been with the department for 13 years.
GCSO announced the death in a social media post Wednesday evening, but held a news conference on the event Thursday morning.
"Tonight at approximately 7 p.m., GCSO investigators where conducting a traffic stop in the area of Park Place and McGee St in Sherman. Investigators apprehended the suspects after a short foot pursuit and physical altercation. After the altercation, one of our investigators collapsed and died," the post said.
Wainscott received medical treatment at the scene and then was transported to Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center where he died.
Sheriff Tom Watt appeared to fight back emotions as he talked about Wainscott's death.
"He served this county with integrity and pride," Watt said. "His passing will leave a tremendous void in our agency and in our county. Dusty was one of the good ones. He had work ethic like you can't imagine. Those that knew him intimately knew a sense of humor that was sometimes a little different than everybody else's. He could make you laugh on a dime."
GCSO will not be releasing the names of the two suspects arrested in the investigation Wainscott was working Wednesday because that case has been turned over to the Texas Rangers for investigation.
The sheriff said as soon as word began to spread that they had lost one of their own, local law enforcement from around the county started offering to help.
"Last night showed why I choose a long time ago, to raise my family in Grayson County," he said. "Chiefs from all across the family reached out to us and they said, 'Have your deputies that are working go to the hospital. We've got the county.'"
Officers from surrounding department's covered the county's 934-square miles last night.
"We didn't have to lift a finger after this happened," Watt said. "I am so proud to be a part of the Grayson County law enforcement community. I have never worked with a finer group of men and women than what we have here at the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. There's not quit in them, no quit. This will be tough. None of us ever wanted to have another honor chair to be placed in this lobby."
Watt looked over as he made that last reference at the chair dedicated to the last GCSO officer to die in the line of duty, Deputy Chad Key who was struck and killed while working an auto accident in 2013.
Watt said they would plan to get an honor chair for Wainscott who left behind his wife and his parents.
Wainscott was a life-long Grayson County resident who graduated from S&S High School in 2000. He attended the Texoma Regional Police Academy at Grayson College and became a certified police officer in February of 2005. He served with the Van Alstyne and Pottsboro Police departments before joining the GCSO in 2008. While at the GCSO, he served as a patrol deputy, field-training officer, hostage negotiator, criminal investigator and intelligence investigator.
"Dusty was kinda like the glue up there (in the investigators' office) cause of who he was that held everybody together," his boss Investigations Lt. Kevin Cheairs said Thursday after the news conference.
Cheairs said Wainscott was a person with a gift for getting through to people whether they were the victim of a crime, the suspect or just a person in the office. He talked to everyone with respect regardless of how or why he came into contact with them, Cheairs continued.
"He was that kind of guy who if you were having a bad day and he came walking into the office, he had that presence that could just help you turn it around," he said.
Wainscott's friend, GC Information Technology Director Rob Crow, described the investigator as a real country boy who loved to hunt and to fish.
They had been friends for 24 years.
"I met him as a rookie at Van Alstyne," Crow said with a smile on his lips and eyes full of sadness. "He works in my building. I see him everyday comes in my office, hangs out, eats my candy out of my candy jar."
Adding that Wainscott was the kind of guy who would literally give one the shirt off his back, "We would go to lunch two or three times a week."
Wainscott wasn't just giving of material possessions. His friends said he worked at cheering other people up.
"Dusty Wainscott was the definition of a great friend," said Investigator Adam Bradshaw who wrote down his thoughts about his friend out of fear that he wouldn't be able to verbalize them through the emotions still building in the hours after Wainscott's death.
"As soon as you met Dusty, you felt close to him. Dusty was always happy and laughing," he wrote.
Cheairs and several others who talked about Wainscott spoke of the very loving and respectful way he referred to his wife.
I was just fond of literally seeing him everyday," said Sgt. Jessey Grissom who also worked in investigations. "If there was one person I would want to see everyday when I am at work, it would Dusty because he just kinda, without even trying brings everybody together and makes everybody laugh just being himself. He is always the person you want to stay a little bit longer in the room because you think he might have something more to say."