A sheriff’s deputy accidently shot and killed a constable’s office deputy early Friday as the two investigated a report of suspicious activity at a vacant house a half-hour southeast of Houston, officials said.

The friendly-fire tragedy claimed the life of Fort Bend County Constable’s Office Deputy Caleb Rule, a father of four and a veteran cop who had been a deputy since September, the Houston Chronical reported.

Rule’s children range in age from 13 to 18. The oldest child is a daughter who graduates from high school Friday night, officials said.

“No sheriff, no constable, no chief of police, no one, this entire country in the field of law enforcement ever want to hold press conferences like this,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said at a press conference.

“An absolute tragedy.”

Authorities investigate the scene where a Fort Bend County Deputy Sheriff fatally shot a Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable after mistaking him for an intruder.
Authorities investigate the scene where a Fort Bend County Deputy Sheriff fatally shot a Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable after mistaking him for an intruder.AP

Rule and the deputy who accidentally shot him had been responding to a call out of a subdivision in Missouri City. A suspicious person had jumped into a vacant property’s backyard and then flipped a light on inside, the sheriff told reporters.

Three sheriff’s office vehicles and a fourth from the county constable’s office responded at 1:45 a.m., finding a back door left unsecured.

One of the sheriff’s deputy’s weapons discharged as the officers were inside checking the house for a suspect.

Rule was wearing a body camera and a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting, which is under investigation, officials said.

The identity of the deputy who opened fire has not been released; Nehls said only that the deputy has over 20 years of law enforcement experience.